I came home from work last night to find a small UPS package waiting for me at my apartment. In it, a plush toy and a two-page letter.
I thought you might be interested in reading a short excerpt from the first page of the letter:
Melanie came to me one evening with your stuffed toy in her hands and asked me to send it back to you. I thought she had grown tired of the Winnie the Pooh doll, but I asked her why she wanted to send it back.
She told me that she had made good friends at school and felt happy living here in Washington DC, and now she wanted to send back the toy to the person that had given it to her on the flight. She was worried that you would be missing your friend.
Melanie asked me to let you know that she wants to thank you for being her first friend in this new country. She kept your gift on her desk in her room to remind her that there were nice people who wanted to be her friend everywhere. Her new classmates have all heard the story about Melanie’s airplane friend.
The rest of the letter went on to explain how Melanie had settled in to her new life here in DC and how her mother was so thankful that someone had shown her daughter kindness during a time where everything was so confusing.
It is I, instead, that should be thanking Melanie. She taught me so much the first and only time we met, and once again, she has reminded me of an important lesson that is particularly important to my life right now:
If you love something, set it free. If that something is meant to still be a part of your life in some way, it’ll come back in time.