In my early 30’s, I started tutoring an elementary school student through a volunteer afterschool program. We worked together for four or five years, stayed in touch for a while after that, then lost track of each other. 

I’m not sure I was able to help him with his reading. I felt (hoped) that there was value in being a caring adult male in his life. 

A month ago, after 20 years of silence, I got a Facebook message from my former student. It was filled with good memories of our time together, and words of thanks for “never giving up on me.” It felt great to hear that I had in fact made a positive impact. That reconnection inspired me to reach out and express gratitude to a few people from my past. 

A suggestion: if anyone comes to mind who was meaningful in your life and might not be aware of their impact, let them know how you feel. Take it from me, it will make their day and then some!