Dear Elena

I read a lot of tech related blogs and am constantly struck by how they put the interpersonal back into communication.

One of my favorites is Kathy Sierra’s Creating Passionate Users blog. She’s got a knack for being devilishly subversive for the greater good in a way that always grabs my attention.

Yesterday Kathy posted about her friend and colleague Dan Steinberg who had to cancel a trip to Boulder this week to collaborate with her on a project because his daughter Elena had suddenly died.

What a stomach punch.

As I read Kathy’s post, there was something about her description of Dan as a devoted dad that went beyond cliché (and as a dad myself, struck a chord with me). It was one of those descriptions that will cause you to follow a link to the blog of someone you don’t know and thereby wander into special places.

What is it about us as humans that causes us to seek connection like that? What is it that makes us walk into places despite knowing much of how the sad stories will end?

So I followed a link to Dear Elena, the blog Dan started the day after is daughter died, and therein found a deep connection with someone I will likely never meet.

He’s posted several times in the last few days with vignette’s that will make you pull those around you close, look them in the eye, and tell them what beautiful people they are.

I especially like the note about Will the Trash Man. It’s one of those stories that makes me aspire to being more generous to the people I run into everyday — instead of keeping my nose burrowed in my ‘important’ tasks and agendas.

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Late in the day yesterday, Jen emailed me at work with an idea – “Let’s take Ruthie on a date to see Curious George when you get home from work”.

Reply >> “Yes, let’s do that.” >> Send

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