I have been invited to a retirement party. I know that doesn't sound so unusual but the party is for Bertha. Actually her name is Bertha Mae...just like the character in my book...and she has red hair...just like my Bertha...and she's in her 80's...not like my Bertha!

I met her last year at the Southern Women's Show when the book had just come out and I gave her a copy. I mean how often do you come across a walking, breathing version of your imagination?

Evidentually she loved the book and has shared it with co-workers...they even say it must have been written about her...so the co-workers tracked me down through my publisher and invited me to her retirement party today.

I've rearranged my schedule and I will be driving to Birmingham (about 100 miles)for the festivities.

This is why I write...if I can touch one woman enough that her co-workers would go to this much trouble to surprise her...then I am a successful writer.

Touching lives...I believe that's the most important thing we ever do...I know we do it many times a day and never even realize it...I've had patients tell me about how I made a difference in their lives and tell of an incident that I don't even recall...an acquaintance told me last week about her favorite Christmas ornament...my daughter had given it to her daughter several years ago (my daughter was a teen and hers was several years younger)...she said it meant so much to her and just lit up when she talked about it...my daughter doesn't even remember giving it to her.

My point is...Bertha--get off the soapbox...it doesn't have to feel like a big deal to us to be a big deal to someone else...we're touching lives and hearts every day...just by being ourselves...

Have a good day!
Jane Carroll