Along with posting random thoughts from the insignificant to the profound, social media affords the opportunity to reconnect with friends and acquaintances from the past. Playing around on Facebook one night about a year ago, I remembered someone from elementary school; just one of those random thoughts emerging out of nowhere. So I typed her name in the search field and there she was.
After sending a brief message, she responded and now I have a new, old friend. As it turns out she is battling a very difficult health condition. She spoke of the challenges, both physical and emotional, brought on by the ailment. But she also spoke of the invaluable support received from family and friends.
I was even more surprised by the gratitude extended to me for sending a very simple message asking if she was the same person I remembered from years ago. Without even realizing it, I had become part of her circle of support.
That such a simple act meant so much reminds me that simple and unintended behaviors can and do mean so much. We have since exchanged messages catching up on the twists, turns and bends our lives have taken in the years beyond elementary school.
In those few exchanges, I came to the awareness of my own appreciation for her transparency and willingness to share heartfelt sentiments. I find inspiration in her positive outlook and ability to source joy and hope despite her difficulties.
Our interaction reminded me of three very important factors that impact the quality of our lives: a good support system and meaningful connections, simple and random acts of kindness and the willingness to find light in the darkest places. The light is always there if we are sincere in our efforts to find it. Though it may be dim, it is still light. And with it we see our way through the darkness.
As I close and reflect on my friend’s gratitude in response to me reaching out to her, I find that I am the one grateful; for her sincerity and for helping me to remember some of the big, little things that make life worth living.