How strangers touch your life

Dear reader,

Long ago I received an e-mail from a lady who was in hospital. She’d been there since a long time, battling cancer. Medication had made her eyes go bad and she couldn’t read books any more until one of her friends gave her an e-reader. On that e-reader were the first five Hilda books.

This lady, Lisa, had been a painter. After reading Hilda’s stories she asked a friend to write me an e-mail, to tell me how she enjoyed the Hilda books. After a few more mails she asked permission to paint some scenes from the books if ever she would be healthy enough again to pick up a brush. Unfortunately she will not paint those scenes. I have learnt today that several months ago she passed over to the next stage in the cycle of life and death.

I have often thought about Lisa. About how the words I wrote touched her life, and that she touched mine in turn by telling me her story.

Lisa and I never met. We only exchanged words on screens. And yet there was this miracle of meaning something for the other. It’s a treasure and I will never forget that.

Goodbye, Lisa. Paint on, wherever you are. These colours are for you.

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