"One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift
of attention." - Jim RohnI had started my column early last week and had planned to
finish it and send this newsletter on Monday, but something happened. The
25-year-old son of a good friend of mine was killed in a tragic and sudden
accident. I went to Houston to be with her, to offer what comfort I could,
knowing that nothing I did would really help, but hoping that being there might
give her a bit more strength to get through this.
When I returned home, I realized that I had to acknowledge
what had happened. He was an amazing young man, full of life and with so much
ahead of him. It's so sad when an older person dies, but often you can comfort
yourself with the thought that the person lived a long life or had accomplished
much, or in the case of a long illness, is finally at rest. But with a young
person, there is no comfort, except some belief that he has gone on to a
He and I were friends on Facebook and I find myself
returning to his page often as if I would read one more status post from him.
Instead what I find are wall posts from his friends and family, expressing
their sadness at this overwhelming loss.
I know that many in my demographic group think that Facebook
is a poor substitute for actual contact or a reckless way of sharing private
information. I have to tell you that it has been a lifeline for me.
If it were not for Facebook, this young man and I would have
had very little contact. I would have only talked to him when I visited his
mother. I would not have had the chance to get to know him as well. But I was
able to see his posts and have a chance to post a message and carry on an
If it were not for Facebook, I would not be able to see the
outpouring of love and support from his friends. Knowing that I was not the
only person outside the family grieving the loss continues to be a comfort. He
touched so many lives and had a huge number of friends. I saw most of these
young people at the memorial service, but there were so many more. I feel a
sort of attachment to them as well.
My social-media-avoiding friends are right. Facebook is a
poor substitute for face-to-face contact, and at times there is way too much
personal information shared. However, in an age when we are reminded
daily of the differences between us, I believe communication, any type of
communication, is positive.
Knowing that friends are paying attention to you
truly is a wonderful gift. No matter how it happens, the act of connecting
means that we have not given up on each other. That helps all of us continue, especially during
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Last month, I asked
what the words "COOKBOOK",
"DECIDED", AND "EXCEEDED" have in common? I had a number of guesses, but the first correct entry came from Janet Feith who explained that these words all have horizontal symmetry. If you place a mirror over the top or bottom half, the letters will look the same.
This month, find a number less than 100 that is increased by one-fifth of its value when its digits are reversed.
The first correct entry will win a $25 gift certificate from Nicavid's Bakery and Cafe.