My husband and I lived in Duesseldorf, Germany many years ago. I spent all of my time learning German and I made a great friend named Gail in class. She was a Japanese American born and raised in Chicago and it was wonderful to learn about the Japanese culture as we shared our German experiences. Gail was married to a Japanese man and they knew that they would eventually be sent back to Japan.
The years went by and my husband and I returned to Rockford and Gail moved back to Japan. We both had children in the 80s and our lives became hectic but we corresponded by “snail mail” for several years. One year I sent a Christmas letter to her and it was returned marked “does not live here.” I hoped I would hear from Gail with a new address but nothing ever came. I tried finding her on Facebook, but she wasn’t there – at least I couldn’t identify her. I send inquiries to several people with her name but had no replies.
As my husband and I were now “empty nesters”, I began to box up our daughters’ childhood memorabilia and to clear out years of personal correspondence which included old Christmas cards. I reread every old letter from Gail, with no clues about where they had gone. Suddenly, in one of her letters, she mentioned the name of a mutual friend we had from those days in Duesseldorf. I remembered Coni, but I hadn’t thought about her in years. I thought that perhaps I could find Coni on Facebook and maybe she had Gail’s contact information. Sure enough, I did find Coni and she immediately gave me Gail’s email address. This was two months before the disastrous Tsunami. Since then, we have had many emails and it was very heartwarming to hear how she and her family endured the after effects of that terrible experience.
Gail and I will be meeting in Chicago this week as she comes home for a short visit. I am so grateful for Facebook!