Last week after another very special Heart Circle gathering I was lying on my bed just about to switch my phone off, when a WhatsApp message came through. It read:
“Hello Tracy, *happy*“
I didn’t recognise the number so I replied, “Hello, “who are you? :)“
“M sure u dnt remember m, bt I will remind u
My name is Thuliswa
For a moment I thought, ‘Not another spam message, and how did this person even know my name!?’
“We met in Cape Town when I was diagnosed with Cancer”
Then the penny dropped!
“Thuli?! Is that you?!”
Tears started streaming down my face as I was instantly transported back ten years ago.
For a number of years I had volunteered for The Reach for a Dream Foundation. They are an amazing organisation that fulfills the dreams of children between the ages of 3 and 18 who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The foundation injects some magic back into the child’s life, putting a smile on their face and giving them hope. I learned so much from these precious children… they don’t feel sorry for themselves like us adults tend to and they just get on with it with such bravery and presence. It was a truly humbling experience that I’m so grateful to have been a part of.
Thuli was one of those special children.
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou I couldn’t remember our conversations back then and hardly remembered all that we did, but what I did remember was how I felt in their company and the special bond we had formed in such a short space of time.
Thuli had come down from Welkom with her ‘mom’, Cynthia (who was actually her grandmother), to experience Cape Town and I remember taking them to Ratanga Junction as one of their outings. I can’t recall what kind of cancer she had, but she hadn’t been doing so well. After a short space of time their positivity and warmth had ensured a special place in my heart. At the end of our time together we shared hugs and telephone numbers and I now recall having sent a present back for Thuli’s birthday one year.
That all feels like a lifetime ago! Having that little girl contact me now after all those years, and the fact that she had even remembered me, caught me completely off guard. When I asked how she still had my number, she said she had found it in an old diary and that herself and her mom talk about me often.
She is now completely cancer-free and in her second year of Marketing at the University of Johannesburg!
By the end of a heart-felt text conversation, exchanging ‘I love you’s‘ with someone I had briefly met so many years ago, I was sobbing like a baby!
My heart was so full and open and it just highlighted for me that at the end of the day nothing else really matters besides the lives you touch and the connections you make.
You can add value to someone’s life without even realising it, just by being yourself and allowing others into your heart. Thuli contacting me was probably the most special thing that had happened to me this year. And all it was, was a simple ‘hello’ after a brief encounter over a decade ago.
The smallest of things to you can mean the world to someone else. Never underestimate the exchange of a genuine smile, an acknowledgement, a compliment, a few kind words or a warm embrace.
We all really long for one thing in life and that is Love. Know that you ARE Love – feel it and share it – it’s what we’re here to do!