“Hello Ann, Please let me introduce myself. I am the daughter of Junita “Nita” W. from Oklahoma. I do believe you and your daughters became friends with my mom after your husband was killed on 9 -11….I found pictures and your name with address in mom’s things…When I saw your name and pictures I had a very strong feeling you may not know about my mom’s death… She was a very caring, loving lady of Godly character. I know she cared about you and your girls.”

That is part of the note I received today.  After I shed a few tears and thanked God for His amazing ways, I went and pulled out the first note I received from “Nita” in Oklahoma.  It was a simple card with a watercolor type drawing on the front of a table and two chairs and printed on the inside it stated “thinking of you”.  There was also a mauve piece of writing paper with a hand – written note dated November 20, 2001.

“Hello Ann, my name is Nita W. I live in Oklahoma, the tragedy of last month has touched me deeply, as it has most of America. I wanted so to be helpful in some way for those who were directly effected. I called the Nazarene headquarters in Kansas City, (I am a member of the Nazarene Church),and asked for the phone number of the Nazarene district office in New York where the tragedy happened…And Ann since then I’ve asked God to be with you and comfort you. I am so very sorry…”

The note would go on to say that Nita would “like to do something special for me for the Christmas season, if that would be ok.” Nita would also ask if I had children so she could remember them also.  I would respond to Nita’s note and she would send a beautiful homemade Christmas tree and home-made ornaments.  The ornaments would include two small houses with a twenty-dollar bill tucked in each one. One for each of my daughters. My younger daughter’s twenty dollars in still in the little house. My older one spent her’s. 🙂  Each year as I display those items I am awed by the kindness of a stranger.

But what made the note extraordinary was the way it was signed – A concerned Grama in Oklahoma, Nita W.  In further correspondences with Nita, she would tell me that she just knew she was supposed to sign her note that way.  She didn’t understand why but she just did it. She would understand why when I told her my grandparents were from Oklahoma. My grandparents had been dead for years but seeing that salutation was a gift.

When I end my Tribute Center tours, I usually mention that I hope people don’t doubt that the little things they do make a difference.  That when they hear of something terrible happening in their neighborhood, town, state, country or around the world that doing something to help – sending a card, praying, donating makes a difference. And I tell them I know that is true because those things made a difference in my life after Sept 11. Nita made a difference in my life. “Well done good and faithful servant”