Last Wednesday I received the alumni magazine from my high school in the mail. As my grade’s class ambassador, I went straight to the alumni notes section in the back of the magazine to read everyone’s submissions together. Next, I perused the back pages of the alumni magazine, looking through the happenings of other alums from the years that came right before and right after my graduation. Engagements, weddings, babies, and career happenings were the big news. I guess that’s what happens when you hit your mid-30’s, isn’t it?
Once I finished reading the updates, I flipped from the back to the front of the magazine when something caught my eye. I saw an article was written by one of my former classmates, who I went to school with from sixth – twelfth grade. She works at the school and often writes features for the alumni magazine, but this piece was different. This was a feature article about her son entitled, “Sam Skips, but Doesn’t Sleep.” I stopped on my way to the front of the alumni magazine and began to read. As I did, I read about a rare form of epilepsy her son has been dealing with for the past two years.
Over the course of the three page article, I felt as though I were on an emotional journey with my former classmate who I had barely kept in touch with for the past 16 years. Her writing chronicled the sleepless nights (for her and her son), the medical visits, the disappointments, and the next steps. What touched me most were the details she included about the way her son walks through the world, which made me gain a special understanding of his strong sense of spirit.
After years of not seeing my former classmate, who I had shared many slumber parties with in middle school, I reached out and emailed her. Thanks to the wonders of Facebook, it was easy to get back in touch. I had to let her know how the personal story she shared touched me. I was so moved by her dedication to helping her son get better. There was no way I could let her article go without contacting her, even though we hadn’t seen each other in years.
What moves you when you read another person’s writing? Is it the sharing of personal information that gets you to respond? What makes you take action? Is there a particular type of writing that motivates you to take action? Please share what moves you by leaving a comment.
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.