Make that connection

Published 7:05 pm Friday, December 16, 2011

The “power of the press” and how far the written word can reach never ceases to amaze me.

I received further confirmation of that fact recently, through an e-mail I received from Halesowen, near Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

It seems a gentleman there Googled “Windsor Swing,” (the name of a musical, magic act performed by Clive and Eileen Parker). By Googling “Windsor Swing” he was directed to an article published in The Post-Searchlight about the Festival of St. John, where the Parkers entertained. The festival was held at St. John’s Episcopal Church here in Bainbridge on November 19-20.

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The author of the e-mail said he had been searching for his elder sister (Eileen Parker), with whom he had lost contact, as she and her husband had moved from England back in the late 1970s to live in Florida. The last time he had seen her was in 1997 at the funeral of their mother. After that they had lost contact and he didn’t know where they were.

“I would very much like to have contact with my sister again, and I wonder if it would be possible for you to either get a message to that effect to her, or provide me with some means by which I could make contact,” he wrote.

Well, since one can never be too careful about these things, the e-mail was forwarded to the Parkers and left to their discretion as to a response.

I am happy to report that their reply to me was immediate.

Eileen wrote, “You know now how important your work is. This world is so very small.” She gave a brief history of her younger brother and of the hours she had spent coaching him for scholarship tests that allowed him to attend college. She indicated they will make contact with her brother and that she has a desire that happiness will come from all our efforts.

The Parkers are looking forward to celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day. As Clive says, “Mathematically we can only have one 50th in our lives,” and they are planning a big event.

Further contact has come from the brother who thanked us, because communication between the two has been restored after a gap of some 14 years. “We are resolved to meet up in the not-too-distant future,” he promises.

The message gleaned from all of this seems to be we only have one life to live and none of us has any guarantees as to how long that will be. Many of us are separated from family members, by time, space or circumstances. As we age, many seek to reconnect with those we may have lost. The Internet is a powerful tool for locating “missing persons.” So is the “power of the press.”

This Christmas Season, may we all be connected with those family members and friends we “have lost.”