Waves of emotion washed over me. I stared at the screen in shock. I love you. (Three words that I have taken for granted my entire life had never even been said to Mary.) How does it feel to never hear somebody say I love you? I never knew until Mary shared her life with me. Tears filled my eyes — and still do — as I came to understand what our relationship meant to her, and now means to me.
Our emails are more than text in a Word document: they are a hand to help us, a connection that will guide us through life. These letters remind me about how fortunate I am, and, because of my blessings, I can make a difference in the global community. Our first concrete contribution was to collect old laptops and other computers and send them to Crossover to use in their classrooms. Before we sent the computers, Mary and all of the other students shared one slow computer, and they waited in line to compose their emails. Now, they have many more computers and can access technology much more easily.
What started out as a simple idea turned into the long-running relationship between Mary and me. A simple idea resulted in action: new computers for all. One idea yielded so much. So many lives (ours and theirs) were reshaped.
Now, instead of pity, I am filled with hope for the children of Crossover Academy, and I want to do more to help them and others. Seven months later, Mary and I still email regularly and keep each other updated on news going on in our countries and in our lives. We have become the best of friends, as we help each other to navigate the ups and downs that life presents us even though we live thousands of miles apart.