It’s not very often that you get the chance to thank someone who wrote to and prayed for you 19 years ago – especially someone you do not know – but I had that opportunity just last week.

In every talk I give, I share how meaningful it was to receive the volume of mail that I did, particularly when I was in the hospital in South Bend. In the days before email, internet and cell phones, people wrote letters – and I loved receiving them! I remember trying to hard to write everyone back, but when you are the recipient of over 20 letters a day, responding to all is hard to do. Especially when you are busy learning how to walk!

I remember my mom assuring me that it was okay to not write to everyone, that they would understand. But I did write to some – and it was as meaningful to them as it was to me…so I recently learned.

After a talk I gave in Minneapolis last week, an ND alum raised his hand during the Q&A to tell me that he was one of the “people I didn’t know” who wrote to me – and shared with the group how touched he was that I written him back a two-page letter. I am sure I did; I do not remember specifically. But at that moment, I was very thankful I had!

What a wonderful opportunity for me to thank him for his support. It made a difference. He may not have known that 19 years ago, but I hope he does now.