It was an average day of work… more than half way through my day, when the phone rang. I am first in line to answer, and so (this will not surprise you) I did.
“Sheryl?” the female voice asked.
“Yes,” I answered.
“Sheryl… Hutton?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said, with a bit of a question in my voice, as well.
“You may not remember me, but…”
And we went on to have a lovely conversation.
Here’s the thing: I met her ten years ago (give or take a year because neither of us remember exactly how long it’s been) at another newspaper office. I was in advertising and she was a client. She’d also had a story written about her… quite a spectacular story, actually. She had cervical cancer and was pregnant, if I’m remembering all the details correctly. Her baby (now eleven years old) is a miracle and so is she! No chemo, no radiation and a live birth… win/win/win. And, as I say, a true miracle!
I am in advertising at a different publication now – same town, though. My email isn’t the same, nor is my phone number. So, how did she find me? And why?
She was typing a totally unrelated email and her autofill tried to fill in my old email address from all those years ago. It happened several times, until she believed she was being given a nudge… and at that point, she remembered seeing my name in a recent newspaper, which she believed was the one where we met. As I say, it isn’t.
She opened the paper, saw the phone number and called. And so our discussion began.
We talked about a bunch of things, including advertising (I mean, people! Who’da thought it? Getting a sale from a contact you haven’t spoken to in a decade? Someone you only knew as an acquaintance from an interaction years ago?).
But that’s not even the part that blew me away.
After the phone call, we emailed back and forth a couple of times. She sent her website and photos of her family, so I could see how big the kids are now – and the miracle boy! She is gorgeous and her family is beautiful! I wrote back and told her so.
And then, she writes,“Thank you for always being so open hearted:) I know now why your email kept popping up…” And folks, that is a direct quote.
I sat back in my chair. I thought about how much I loved that job in the early years but grew to despise it (for many reasons… very few of them make sense to me now… older, wiser and with 20/20 hindsight). Ten years ago… 2008. Loved the job but by year’s end, everything would change. The recession hit everyone hard and one of the first things to go for a struggling business: advertising. (By the way, that also makes very little sense. It’s when you need advertising the most, actually. But I digress.)
But let me be very honest. When she called, it took me a few beats of the conversation to remember who she was. More than a few. Her story was, of course, unusual and it rang a bell. The more we spoke, the more I remembered about her.
However, she seemed to remember me very well. I’d made an impact on her. How did that happen?
When I wrote back to thank her for her kind words, I said that I believe everything happens for a reason. And you know, I really do!
But I’d also like to know… what was so special about me? What did I do or say that mattered enough to remember me a decade later? Shouldn’t it have been the other way around? Shouldn’t I have been reaching out to see how she fared?
My friends, readers and country(wo)men, I shall stand upon this box and say: One never knows when one is making an impression that will last. Even at work when you’re selling an ad.
This world. This crazy world. I’m sitting here shaking my head in confusion. But my heart is bursting with appreciation… and love.
PS: The flowers? My favorite. Yellow roses. My husband picked them up for me one day and I snapped a pic. Just because. Thought I’d share them with this post… filed under: Things that make me smile. 🙂