About nine years and eight months ago, I received an email from a pretty, young lady. The subject of the email was, “I hope you visit this site every day”, with the appropriate link attached to the body of the message.
The link took me to a site which I obviously hadn’t ever visited – the Hunger Site which helps to feed the hungry in Africa – but which I just as obviously visited right then.
Obviously, because that pretty, young lady is the same beautiful woman who is currently sitting under an apple tree outside our house, playing with her kids. Our kids.
For years, I had that message from Jessica in my inbox. Pretty soon, it had dropped to the bottom of the list of messages in my inbox which then, as now, doubled as my to-do list. When I had checked off everything else on my list, and had nothing to do, her message would still be there.
Unlike Jessica, I’m an accidental list maker. Every once in a while, I get organized, and I make a few to-do lists. The items get probably done, but the list is forgotten. Until I get another burst of organizational energy and I draft another to-do list, and really, really promise myself to start using them. (I have dozens of half-checked lists in my notebook, with, say, 40 pages intervals).
Anyway, her message worked: I did visit the site often. I’d like to say every day, but I probably didn’t.
The message survived a few computer switches over the years, better than all my to-do items, because in Outlook you could forward emails as an attachment, which meant that I would have the exact same message in my new Inbox.
So, every morning as I logged on to my account, there’d be the cheery message from Jessica, reminding me to be good, and do good. Regardless of whether I did that simply to be able to honestly tell her that I did click on that link every day – and every now and then I would reply to her message and remind her back – the deeds got done, and, I hope, some people got the help they needed. (They’re on Facebook, now, too).
Then, somehow, somewhere, the message disappeared. Thinking back now, it may have disappeared when we moved to Finland, and I didn’t have a new email address to send it to, although, that seems unlikely.
Back in 2002, there was no cloud to sync all my messages with.
I was reminded of this the other day, when I got a new phone. Within three minutes from getting home, I had everything synced with my laptop.
What got synced was about 300 contacts, a dozen emails (the ones also in my Inbox), and one to-do item.
That one item is a special one because it, too, has been with me for years, through a few computers and mobile phones, just like the Hunger Site email.
It says simply, “älska Jessi”, or “love Jessi”. (The fact that it’s in Swedish makes me think that I originally got it from Jessica, but have had to recreate it at some point due to compatibility issues – computers, not Jessi’s and mine).
It’s listed as a high-priority task, but with an open end date.