Not too long ago, I got the most fantastic message on Facebook from a woman I met when we were both in the fourth grade:
Eevin-I am reading an old copy of George's Marvelous Medicine to my daughter and your name is written on the inside front cover. Must have left it at my house 25 years ago!
I was so tickled. I've always LOVED Roald Dahl - I read and took complete pleasure in all of his books as a kid - and it felt exactly right that somehow from faaar away I was part of someone else reading (and hopefully enjoying) him. (When we were dating, because he had read absolutely NONE of Roald Dahl's books, I encouraged my husband to read James and the Giant Peach. He would pick it up to read at bed time, get through about two and a half sentences and fall asleep. I married him anyway). Even more, I have such a strong memory of reading George's Marvelous Medicine because I read it (probably around third or fourth grade) all in one evening, out-loud, to my mom who laughed so loudly and enjoyed it so much that the book has been a life-long favorite, and the memory of reading it together like that was one we shared and savored together periodically over the course of the intervening years.
As it happens, my mom died not too long ago and this message from my old classmate - with this wonderful memory that it brought along with it - was such a gift. Over the past few weeks I've received a number of deeply lovely notes and letters of condolence but this totally unrelated message was more magical because it brought her back just a tiny bit. Just for a second.