Meet Darren & Ashley (father/daughter). As I was leaving the Main Post Office, I ran into Ashley who was entering. Her colorful tattoos caught my eye and she was happy to take part in the 31 Strangers in 31 Days Project. As I waited outside for her to finish her postal business, I spoke with her dad, Darren. He said they were visiting from California, and were in town for the funeral of Ashley's guy - Sgt. Jesse Balthaser, a Marine who was killed September 4, 2010 by an unexploded incendiary bomb in southern Afghanistan. He was 23. He was based at Twentynine Palms, California. I was once again reminded to really live each moment & be present - we can take nothing for granted. We talked a bit about the economy and the housing market. I learned that Darren is going through a divorce. And it was obvious he loved his daughter.
That evening, as I sat down to watch the late news, it was almost a surreal moment as I looked at the screen & saw Ashley. The story was about the funeral and they were handing the flag to her
I'm only halfway through this project, & I've realized that while I may notice the sunset, I'm not noticing people. Through this project, I'm focusing more on people. And I'm realizing that if we take just a moment to slow down, make eye contact and talk to someone, we become a little richer... & there is one fewer stranger.