On a TV show I watched recently, a young woman was clinging to a pink felt heart. Her friend pointed to it and asked, “What’s this about?” The woman responded, “It was sewn on a teddy bear that I carried around everywhere when I was a child. I never let go of that bear. I finally wore it out, and this heart is all I have left,” she replied. He very gently responded, “You have the best part.” He then pulled a tiny piece of paper from his wallet. It was from a Chinese fortune cookie she had given him the first time they met. On it was written, “Today’s new friend is tomorrow’s family.”
This month, many of us whose loved ones were killed by impaired driving will pull out Valentine cards that are now—like my heart’s feelings—a little tattered around the edges. My eyes often fill with tears as I think, “this is all I have left of Alisa. I want more.”
But then, Alisa’s lovely spirit tiptoes to the front of my heart. You see I carry her in my heart, everywhere I go. She has always been there—before she was born, to the time that she danced around us on this earth, and even now when her beautiful spirit lives in my heart, as it does in so many others. I never let go of that girl.
On Valentine’s Day—and every day—remember that our loved ones live on in our heart. In our hearts… that’s the best place, now. I am so grateful for all of the gifts Alisa continues to give me, and I am sure that your loved ones fill your heart with gifts of love, too. May your Valentine’s Day give you warm moments of lovely memories.
Each of us connects to MADD for our own reasons, and so we are connected to one another. I cherish our bond as I cherish every one of you. On this Valentine’s Day, whether or not we have met in person, I thank you for being in my life. Today’s new friend is tomorrow’s family. How true that is.