Unexpected Gift

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Between Monday night and now, I’ve lerned something I already knew. Every person’s story is important. If not to them, it’s important to their friends, or to a stranger who would benefit if only there was time to connect.
I expected a few people to respond to the new OSer’s Open Call, mostly out of kindness so I wouldn’t feel left out in the cold. I don’t mind encouragement so this was fine with me. I put the call out Monday evening, notified my favorites, then waited for only one comment. It came from mimetalker. She has known me all my life and before, when I was just a hope in my parents life. Still, the tone of her comment was delightful. I was content.
Fortunately I didn’t have concrete plans for Tuesday because when I opened my laptop in the early afternoon to check email, every other message was either a comment alert or a “someone has made you a favorite…” notifcation. I figured I’d have a little while of enjoyable reading getting to know some folks. Almost immediately I was laughing out loud then reading aloud to my husband who didn’t want to miss out on whatever the good news was. Then a surprising thing happened. Every time I checked email there were fresh messages, fresh favorite notifications. Every time I returned to my blog there was a new random 12 list on my favorites post updates. Soon I was checking “most recent” to catch the others. I love people. I love their stories. I was in a candy store! Countless bite size stories were available in seemingly endless supply, at least for a while.
At some point I realized a couple hours had passed and I was still on the couch, cross legged, thoroughly wrapped up in reading, laughing, meditating, trying to comment authentically. A bit after 5pm I forced myself to go beyond the 900 sq feet of our home. I went for a bike ride to nowhere in particular. I needed to be in the fresh air. I needed to move!
When I returned around 6pm there were more. That’s when I gave myself permission to do nothing but read OS responses to this oddly popular Open Call all evening. I enjoyed writing and reading comments as much as the blog posts. The pace of new lists continued late into the night. One of my favorite comments came at 10:05pm from sweetfeet. She said, “I’m gonna be reading theses all night, you know.” I did know! When I finally dragged myself to bed, I had 4 windows open of blogs I wanted to be sure to remember to read this morning.
Today, I didn’t get on the computer until early afternoon again. Again my email was full of notifications and the newsfeed, though not to the same extent, was dotted with these random lists of 12 life facts. Cranky Cuss, one of the first writers I looked out for here, joked that, “This may have turned into the best OC ever, and you know why? Because we’re writers and we LOVE to talk about ourselves.” It’s true, we do. But I don’t think that’s the reason. I think it was so popular, at least in part, because people matter, our lives matter. Our memories are a precious possession and one of the most valuable gifts we can give another person, even if they’re not pretty or grand, because they are the fabric of our life.

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