Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Extraordinary Letter

Hoskins' Drug Store, 1968

Our after-school meeting place. What fun we had!

Me with my slip showing, is that not
an archaic term?

Several months ago, actually on December 5, 2010, on a gray Sunday afternoon I received the following Facebook private message from a "stranger".  I can't begin to describe the emotions when I read this letter.  I was looking in my
AOL "old mail" yesterday looking for this letter and ran across the forwarded email of the letter to  my daughter.  I was reading that I told her I cried and cried when I read this. I think another reason for being so emotional was 1974 was one of my hardest years. 

Subject Line: Hi

I hope it’s okay to share this story with you, Cindy. Years ago I went to Clinton High School. It was my freshman year and I was only there for a short time. (Moved from Kentucky) I remember seeing you … a tall girl with long blonde hair that looked like an angel to me. I can remember to this day, asking someone, “Who’s that girl?” Anyway, if I remember correctly, you were with a guy named Lee? To make a long story short … which is difficult for me) Haha! I saw another girl the same day with long blonde hair and I thought to myself, those two girls look like angels to me. The other girl was Marcia … do you remember her? Well, shortly after seeing the “two angels”, I moved back to Kentucky. I never forgot you or Marcia. Although I never talked to you all in person, I always remembered your names.

So back in Kentucky, while sitting in study hall with my best friend, we decided to pick out our children’s names. I told her about you and Marcia (the angel girls). I said, “I don’t know which name to pick, it will be either Cindy or Marcia so we decided to draw names. I wrote the names Cindy and Marcia on a piece of paper, folded the paper into small pieces, closed my eyes and picked Marcia. I was probably 14 years old at the time.

Later in life, at the age of 22 years old (1974), I gave birth to a baby girl. I named her Marcia. I thought you might enjoy this story.

I never saw you or Marcia after my freshman year but never forgot the two angel girls … the two most beautiful girls in the world to me!

I hope this was a fun story for you and to think I found you on Facebook!  Wow! 

Patricia :-)

Patricia and I have been writing each other and are now friends.  Before too long I hope we can meet in person. 

Soon after I received this letter, I began to think of  to whom I would write such an extraordinary letter.  It didn't take me long to know.   My letter would go to a retired school principal who helped me and my daughter twenty-eight years ago when we were in need. Yesterday afternoon the postman picked up my letter and it's on its way to him.

It's uncanny the things that Patricia and I have in common. I love you Patricia and thank you for giving me one of the most unexpected gifts! 

Who would be the recipient of your extraordinary letter?


Clint said...

You have my eyes wet---thanks. If men aren't supposed to cry then I got a serious problem.

I can only imagine how your high school principal will feel when he reads your letter of appreciation for a good deed he did so many years ago.

You know---it just goes to show you that in life, we never know what kind of impression we are making on someone else. Usually, the good things we do are never acknowledged. And the few that are acknowledged are the provervbial "tip of the iceberg". We can all learn from this story---and God bless you for writing that overdue letter to a retired principal who will be overwhelmed by a heartfelt letter of appreciation for a good deed done decades ago.

Shady Del Knight said...

My blog is essentially an open letter to John and Helen Ettline, two people who were great influences in my life. Although they are no longer among the living I believe that somehow they are getting my message and know what's in my heart. When you try to reconnect with someone from your past who is still alive there is always a chance that it won't go as planned and you wind up disappointed. A few years back I tracked down an old college buddy. We had been partners in film class and traveled around Central Pennsylvania shooting student films together. I admired him greatly and regarded him as a close friend. All these years I had vivid and very happy memories of the time we spent together creating our movies. When I contacted him recently I was shocked and dismayed to find that he hardly remembered me at all. Moreover he had no desire whatsoever to resume our friendship. If you haven't already done so please read Thomas Wolfe's short story The Far and the Near because it relates in a way to what I have written about here. You were indeed angelic back then, Cindy, and you have lost none of your good looks. Moreover you are a class act all the way and an asset to the blogging world!

kelli said...

what a sweet story!

Cindy Ellison said...

Shady, I agree with you that John and Helen couldn't help but feel the love from you and and the blog you created to honor their memory, Your blog is a breathing and living extraordinary letter to them.

About your old classmate, one can't help but think maybe the guy is not well, maybe some dementia is going on or other mental problems with him having trouble remembering your good times together.

Thomas Wolfe has been on my "book bucket list", I will not forget to read The Far and the Near. I am so sure of it I don't have to even make a note :-D Thank you for the compliments!


Kelli, thank you for your comment and I am happy you liked the story. Clint really liked the onion magnet you mailed him. You did an excellent job on it, such neat stitches. That was thoughtful of you. Thank you for being a new follower!

Cindy Ellison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emma said...

What a great story Cindy! It's crazy how life works sometimes! Thanks for sharing it with us xx