I told the other girls at the table what had happened and one responded that she had talked to Katie earlier that evening, and heard that she had received news of an accident home in the States: Katie's brothers' sambo and her 5-year-old daughter had been involved in a car accident and the little girl was in serious condition. "Oh my god," I thought, and here I was calling her all cheerful to remind her about a missed dinner! :( What if she'd just heard an update and it was the worst news?? I felt sick to my stomach.
About 10 minutes later, Katie DID call me back (although I wouldn't have blamed her at all if she hadn't) and told me the story herself, filling in some of the details, including what had happened and that her niece had been life-flighted to a hospital in Sacramento from Chico, where the accident occured. The mother was okay, but things weren't looking good for the little girl: the injury was to her spine and she might be paralyzed.
She didn't feel like coming out to dinner, of course and we hung up, promising contact soon. Katie hasn't been in Sweden very long, she moved here in 2005. Her boyfriend is from Iceland and she actually works in Copenhagen. I had met her several times at various sushi nights I had organized since she's a fellow sushi fiend and I liked her at once and appreciated her sense of humor. In September she accepted a position on the board of the AWC as co-Activities officer and since I was re-joining the board, I was delighted that I was going to be working with her and would have the chance to get to know her better.
Anyway, you can imagine my shock and amazement later that evening when I sat down to read through my blogs and journals and saw that Marilyn, a long-time online friend, had posted about an accident that had happened to a family member of one of her good friends...as I read the details of the post, I got chills: it had to be the same little girl. I immediately emailed Marilyn, knowing that she wouldn't get the message for awhile, since the time difference is so great between Sweden and California, but as it happens she couldn't sleep and was up in the middle of the night and online. Sure, enough, her friend is Katie's mom.
Taylor came through her initial surgery well and things are looking good, so far. She hasn't recovered any mobility yet, but it's early and if anyone has the power to heal fully even from an injury like this, it's a child. If you can send some positive energy and healing thoughts her way, her family and friends would, I'm sure, be very grateful.
I don't even know this little girl. I don't even know Katie all that well. And I've never even met Marilyn. But my god, if we aren't all connected.
And that goes for the rest of you, too. Whatever our degress of separation, and they are probably much less than we realize, we are ALL connected.