My 2019 word of the year is Connection.
Which reminds me of a story about the incredible power of connection.
A few weeks after my first book, Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life, and Motherhood was released, I was traveling to speak at an event in front of a large crowd in Forth Worth, Texas.
The airport parking garage was full, which meant a satellite lot and a shuttle bus to the airport. I was already nervous about my talk, so this just made me more stressed.
On the bus, the only seat left was next to an older gentleman in a navy sport coat. The gentleman whose name I later learned was Jim, asked where I was headed. We chatted about my book, and then about his daughters.
Just as we were about to get off the bus, a little voice in my head suggested I give him a copy of my book. I was reluctant, because all my other copies had been shipped to the event, and it was the only copy I had with me – but I honored the voice, and put the book in his hand.
Six months later, I received a two-page handwritten letter. “I’m not sure if you’ll remember me, but a while back we rode a bus together, and you gave me a copy of your book.” I smiled, remembering Jim. Then I read on: “Your beautiful story and positive outcome were, for me, the encouragement and validation I needed to help my wife and me through the deep grief of losing our daughter last January.”
I keep that letter in the top drawer of my desk, and often think about the circumstances that had to occur that day in order for our paths to cross.
I can’t help but wonder if we’re always being guided toward those with whom we are meant to connect.
That moment continues to inspire me to stay open, to listen, and to act upon that quiet voice from within. I hope it does for you, too.