I have a coworker (I’ll call her Cathy) who loves – I mean LOVES – to talk. She’ll talk about anything – sometimes she talks about work, sometimes she maps out her plans for dinner, and, every once in a while, she’ll share a story that just sticks with you…
Cathy had been working at a historic site that got a lot of student field trips from the inner city. She talked about how kids would show up without food for lunch. Some wouldn’t even have a coat in the middle of winter and they’d shiver through the hour-long outdoor tour of the site. This would happen so frequently that Cathy brought in her sons’ old coats so the kids could be warm, if only for the few hours that they were there. She also kept peanut butter, jelly, and bread on hand.
During one of these school trip visits, a young girl approached Cathy with a little folded note in her hand. The note had a small pink heart drawn on the outside of it. The girl held the note up to Cathy and said “Will you keep this for me?” Cathy opened the note, I guess expecting it to be another little drawing – maybe a flower or bunny – the type of things that young girls like. Instead, written inside was this simple message: Remember me.
I wonder what was happening in that little girl’s life that made her reach out to Cathy. I wonder what has happened to the girl since and where her life has taken her. – And I wonder if she remembers giving Cathy that note and if she wonders if it made any difference.
I’ve seen Cathy tell that story several times – each time, ending with a few tears. So – the note did make a difference. I wish I could let that lost little girl know that Cathy followed through on her promise. She does still remember her…and now I do too.