I read an article today that triggered a memory of a childhood assignment from a thoughtful elementary teacher who would have made the pinterest Top Ten ideas, if there is a such a thing. We were supposed to send a note across the country via a balloon filled with helium. A great idea that could be explained through some sort of fancy science vocabulary words.
The information in the story provided a heart felt story of a daughter who had lost her father and desperately wanted to communicate with him. Obviously, this is complicated but her mom encouraged her to use a note and a balloon to send her dad the thoughts she wanted to share with him.
Someone ended up finding the balloon four hundred miles away in the next few days. The recipient reached out to the teenage girl and offered support through gifts she had collected at the restaurant she owns. She was quoted saying “I believe the balloon came to me for a reason and you can make a difference in this world by doing small things for people.”
In my case a response was mailed to the school explaining who found the small piece of paper and a short bio of the happenings in their life. Who needs the postal service when you can send mail via a small rubber flexible bag filled with a colorless gaseous element? The accuracy would be the only aspect in question. Can you imagine trying to explain to the power company how you tried to send a payment through air mail and there must be some mistake to why they haven’t received the package.
But what if it was this easy to communicate with the ones that have gone before us? What would you tell those people that you haven’t seen in weeks, months or years? Seems far fetched I know, but play along if only for a few minutes.
Grandpa, you would be amazed how fast your great grandchildren are growing. They are smart little boogers with a hint of an attitude like your son. Some of their mischievous acts remind me of the stories you told me about dad peeing in an ash tray for some odd reason or how you two loved to play catch. You would be so proud Grandpa.
Hey buddy, I can’t believe it’s been so long now. I think of you often and the fun times we had together. Still can’t wait to have that great birthday barbeque bash we had planned before you left us in the blink of an eye. That infectious smile still gives me a boost when things look hopeless. Man, I miss you so much.
I asked our youngest child what she would tell her uncle who recently passed if she could send him a note. She is three, but she brought tears to my eyes as she in the most genuine voice said, “Happy Birthday Uncle Russ.”
Twelve years ago today eight students and one adult were taken in a devastating tornado that destroyed areas of my hometownincluding the local high school. Navy blue balloons with notes to heaven addressed to these individuals would include things like: you aren’t forgotten, your story is still being told today, your testimony is still changing lives, the entire country knew of your story and laid out support to help your family and classmates, you are a hero, your legacy will live on long after this generation.