I would have walked past the letter on the path nine out of ten times. A raging germaphobe (at least in my mind), I wouldn’t dare touch an unknown object in a city park. So, what drew me to this one? No idea, other than sheer curiosity. But whatever it was I paused my music and took a break from my morning walk to pick this filthy letter up and read it. No longer in the original envelope and covered in dirt and footprints, a quick read of the neatly handwritten letter took my breath away. The body of the letter was short and packed a hell of an emotional punch. I immediately looked for and found a bench to slide down onto. I re-read the letter several times in total shock. How could someone just drop something so vitally important, I wondered. I looked around for a possible owner, immediately understanding that such action was futile, but needing to do something. I laid the letter on the bench and stood up, feeling lost as to what to do next. I took another look around the park once more, feeling deeply sorry for the owner of the letter.
I finished my walk and made it back home, deep in thought. My life was far from perfect and lately I’d done my fair share of complaining. But this… I had it so much better than the letter writer. I entered the back door to my house and found my daughter standing at the sink fighting to peel an orange, a frustrated look on her face. Thinking back once again to the loss in the letter and relieving the pain and anguish its author endured, I walked over to her and pulled her into a big hug, kissing her on her forehead. I told her I loved her and made sure she acknowledged that she heard me. I needed her to know that no matter what may have been said or how we fought I would always, always love her. That letter in the park made me appreciate the fights and the laughs I was still able to share her. She gave me an awkward smile and shuffled back to her room, stopping at the door to tell me she loved me too.
It’s truly amazing how such a small change in an otherwise routine activity can change your entire outlook on life.