Nobody writes letters anymore. But there was one I’d wanted to write for awhile.
I have a friend named Jennifer — she’s in her 40’s now, but I’ve known her since she was 11. Her mother was my boss at my first publishing job in 1977. She even helped me get my next job, at an ad agency, where I was for almost two decades. Jane used to like to tell people that she invented me. She passed away a few years ago. I loved her.
Jennifer has picked up the gauntlet. We have lunch, she comes to my every book signing, buys copies for her friends. Many conversations end in a tear and a “Mom
would have loved this.” She’s right: Jane loved that our deep friendship was already in its second generation
Ten years ago Jennifer called me from her publishing job to say there was a job open, a big job, and she had recommended me. I got that job, and though it was short-lived, it gave me the impetus to go off and start my writing career in earnest at the age of 52. The man Jennifer recommended me to has also moved along, and he now he has become my publisher. All because of Jane. All because of Jennifer.
So I sat down and wrote her a letter about it, to thank her for everything she and her mother had ever done for me. I wanted her to know that I knew, and tell her how they changed a life, many, many times over.
Write it down; send it on.