There are friends that you happen upon in this marvellous Journey of Life whose initial impact belies their long-term significance. Friends who slip in through an open door, stay for tea, drift out again and then return from time to time, for another visit, to chat or simply to check in with a “hi, how are you?”
Natasha is one of those sorts of friends. When I first met her online, her alias was Sarai, The Mumbling Monkey and I *think*, although I can’t be quite sure, that we “met” in 2005, when I found her blog and she found mine and we got to commenting and chatting. (Her blog is no longer in use and the person who currently has a blog entitled “The Mumbling Monkey” on blogspot is definitively NOT her.) Somehow my memory is of the exchange of comments starting much earlier than that, but the earliest email I could find was from December 2005.
At any rate, we emailed and chatted and eventually she came out for a visit in 2006. It was the first time I had met anyone online who turned out to be a real, live person and it was cool.
We have also developed this habit of sending random packages. Sometimes they correspond with birthdays or holidays, but more often they correspond with, “hey she’d like that and it’s mid-February, so…”
Yesterday, I got a Mid-February So package!
There was lots of lovely wool inside. The cat, named after Natasha (his name is Tasha, which, according to Katherine, is not at all feminine whereas, “‘Natasha’ is definitely a name for a beautiful lady.”) was suitably impressed.
I always use the wool Natasha sends to make something for myself, Katherine or John. Gift wool has to stay in the family!
It was a delight to open and just plain nice to know that somewhere out there someone cares.
Natasha is on the other side of the country and my next visit to B.C. is tentatively scheduled for October, 2013 and I am determined that this trip will take me to Kelowna to visit Natasha and her fascinating family (how many families do you know can play both sides of a basketball game without recruiting?).
My challenge to those of you who have read this far is to “pay it forward” today. Think of someone whom you know who is not expecting anything from you and who could simply use a moment of joy, an uplifting thought or a small token of appreciation and give that.
- send a care package (doesn’t have to be expensive) to someone far away
- buy a grocery store gift card and give it a student who is probably running out of food money right about now
- write nice note in a greeting card and mail it or drop it off
- buy a coffee and a tea biscuit and deliver it to a friend with a sick child.
- go on-line and order soup or flowers or a book and have it delivered to someone who is over-worked or housebound
- drop off a good movie and a bottle of wine to a couple with small children
- visit your grandmother and bring some photos
Do all this without even the expectation of gratitude.
It will probably make them far happier than you expect and it will bring you a joy that you won’t believe until you experience it.
So thank you, thank you, thank Natasha! Have we really only known each other for seven years?