A gift from a friend
I have been talking to people on the internet from the moment my computer was up and running with AOL back in 1999. So a few days ago, when I was messaged on Facebook out of the blue by someone asking if I was the person they chatted with over 13 years ago, my mind drew a blank. She told me her name and where she used to live and said we had lost touch after 911, but it wasn’t ringing any bells for me. I wrote and asked for more specifics, but she probably felt she had the wrong person and didn‘t reply. I trusted her memory more than mine, so I started to think back. I was getting a vague memory of a young mother, in her twenties, with a son. She was very sweet and seemed to be struggling with something. She needed someone to talk to. Not everyone has someone to talk to. I replied once again asking if she was a young mother with a son. Still no answer. She must have thought she had the wrong person. I wasn’t 100% sure either, but something told me she was right about it being me.
As fate would have it, my brother came over yesterday and a memory crossed his mind which was totally unrelated. It was also something that happened online years ago and I went to get my notebook where I had jotted notes on this incident. On the page next to those notes were the woman’s name, address and phone number! That was all I needed to confirm we had known each other years ago.
I soon recalled how I chatted almost every morning with this young woman. It was hard for her to open up. Then I remembered a gift I had gotten in the mail long ago. It was a small basket with note stationery. I have kept this gift in my kitchen all these years. I even had a few pieces of the stationery left. I took a picture of it and sent one last reply with the photo. I asked if she was the one who had sent me this gift and told her how I still had it.
It was then that I received a reply. She said that she did send it to me all those years ago. She told me I had sent her a Christmas ornament, with a friendship inscription, that she has been hanging on her tree every year. She said the reason she wanted to contact me was to thank me for being so sweet to her when she was going through a hard time and say hello. Her son has grown up and she has moved, but she has often thought about me all these years. We caught up briefly on what has happened during these 13 years and then she said she never forgot my kindness. And with that, we wrapped up our brief conversation.
We may talk again, we may not, but I was very glad to hear from her and to know that she is happy now. You never know what a few minutes of your time and a few kind words can do.