TO THE BEAUTIFUL, COURAGEOUS, STRONG, KIND YOUNG WOMAN who asked if she could hug me, through tears and a trembling voice.. with the most hopeful eyes, and beautiful smile… I wanted to write this to you,

You changed me yesterday. In that one moment.. you made me feel like I had done something remarkable, something I could go into this next life knowing I did good by life. You made me feel a lot better about people and how much good is out there. You made me more patient, kind, and happy. You made me want to cry for hours after, of the sheer goodness I felt, sadness for your struggle, and pure hope for your future..knowing you will  be blessed with exactly what you desire.

I was coming from a 3 day get away in Las Vegas, with my husband who worked the whole time. I just tagged along to try and make it a mini vacation. Our first, just the two of us.. in years. My work has been my kids the last 10 years, and this book. I encountered rude people where I was kind, even found an ATM card left in the machine and walked my sore feet to customer service to make sure the owner could find it, I didn’t win any money.

Even my husband said “You know, we’re good people, it’s not like we expect anything, we’d do it all anyway. But you, you do this stuff every day, and you’d just think it’d come back to you. And I was even convinced we’d at least win some money”

We laughed and I agreed I was sure we’d win something too after our huge good karma of turning in that card to make sure no one else got to it.

We got to the airport and he pulled out one of my books. He knows since before I even got it published, my intention was to leave some in random places in the hopes and dreams of serendipity that it reached exactly who it needed to at that moment.

I admittedly was feeling a little defeated about leaving it. They’re hard to sell, I had left them in free libraries and never knew what became of them. I almost didn’t write anything in it. Truth is, at that very moment I felt like “Who’d want it”. There’s such a vulnerability in this process and it’s a feeling very hard for me to handle at times.. admittedly. I have had to learn vulnerability is exactly where the strength is, not in being too strong to be vulnerable.

So I pulled myself back together and remembered exactly who wrote that book and I inscribed it.

I pulled out my pen and wrote:

“If you found this, it was meant for you, and it’s yours. Please share it with anyone who you know needs it too. The website is on the back page. With Love, Jamie.”

I handed it to my husband who put it on the empty seat next to him as we were about to get in line to board.

You and your husband came over and sat down the row. When they called us I heard you say something to my husband as I was walking toward the line. I found out later you told him he forgot his book and he explained it was his wife’s and she wants someone to have it. You asked “May I have it?” He said, “Absolutely.”

I’m standing in line, and I turned to look for him, and you were walking up to me with those tears in your eyes and that beautiful smile, I’ll never forget your face or the sound of your voice, because it was filled with… and lead with.. strength, beauty, and hope, but there was that sadness part none of us escape.

You said “May I please hug you?”

I said “Of course” as I was bringing you in. And I held you while you cried, then I cried and you held me too. We held each other.

You stepped back and touched your heart and said you and your husband have been trying to start a family and you had been having troubles and how much you needed that book, that you wanted to thank me.

I reached out and hugged you again and we both held each other again. It’s blurry to me from there, at this point I had full body goosebumps, and I just remember you saying sorry as we all do when we cry (who knows why we do this) and me saying “Don’t be.” And holding you tighter “This is exactly why I wrote it.” And I thanked you for coming over and wished you the very best. And I REALLY wished you the very best.

I spent the next hour in the sky, thinking that’s as close to heaven as I can get to send up prayers for you. I wished I could’ve done even more for you and I just went back to what I could do. Send those prayers. And say thank you to you over and over again into the universe. I don’t think you could ever know how much I want to thank you.

Thank you for, now I am crying again. Thank you for being you. I know you will make the most wonderful parents. And I know that family is going to happen for you, I just know it. And when I turned to wave goodbye I wanted to blow you a kiss because a wave just wasn’t enough… and I saw your husband reading the book and I thought “What a great love, keep trying”. You’ll make the best parents!

I wanted you to know what this day meant to me. I wanted you to know what a great Mom you will be. I wanted you to know that I will think of you, every time I think of that moment. And I wanted you to know I am so happy to think of someone like you, raising another someone like you. The world needs it.

That’s winning the jackpot, the biggest one of all. There is no amount of money that can buy that. I chose this picture because it was the plane at it’s highest altitude, where I sent up my prayers for you to hit your jackpot. May all your dreams come true.

And to everyone.. you’re winning in life when you are brave enough to be kind, to say thank you, to be human.  Remember that. I gave her a gift, she gave me one for life.

With Love,