Rick Springfield has a copy of my first novel, Dream in Color and that's due to a wonderful lady named Vicki.
I'm telling you this because Vicki passed away last week, ironically enough a short time, maybe hours, before she was to see her beloved Rick Springfield in concert.
Though I'd only spoken to her a few times, I thought of Vicki as a friend. She and her best friend, Wendy, were fellow fans of Rick Springfield and that is a sisterhood, for sure.
I met Vicki through Wendy. Wendy, a few years ago, heard me talking on the radio about my book, a rock and roll romance with a Rick-like main character. She and Vicki reached out to me and Vicki told me she knew Rick and that she could have me meet him.
I won't lie, I had my misgivings. I mean, right, she really knew Rick Springfield.
Turns out, she did. She was able to get a copy of my book to him, (so now he has an autographed copy of my book) and he signed one of my books for me. (I keep it on my desk as a reminder that dreams can and do come true.) She also made good on the promise for me to meet him, even though that darling woman had to all but tackle him in a bowling alley. (And that's a great story, let me tell you!) Thanks to Vicki, I was able to have the greatest thirty seconds of my life.
Vicki had been ill, but her dedication to all things Rick was undeterred and I envied Wendy and her as Wendy posted new pictures about their Rick adventures. Vicki's smile and her spirit glowed in every one.
Vicki passed away late last week. Wendy and I, it turned out, were at the same concert that night (it was a big place, we didn't see each other). On my way home I got a text from Wendy giving me the bad news. My heart goes out to Wendy, who lost in Vicki a very dear friend and concert buddy.
In thinking about Vicki this week, I'm reminded how closely we are all connected in this life, even though we don't think we are. If I hadn't written that book, if I hadn't done that radio interview, I would never have met Vicki and Wendy, and I sure would not have had that beautiful, awkward, hilarious moment with Rick Springfield.
It's those random connections we make, that matter. Vicki made more of an impact on my life with one kind act than most of the people I've known for years. She gave me more confidence in my writing life than any of my family members, and she did it just because she could and she wanted to.
We all have that person in our lives, or maybe if we don't, maybe we should be that person in someone else's life. I know that since meeting my two "Rick Chick" friends I've been more aware of the people around me and what I can do to just make their lives. I haven't found that amazing thing yet, but I know I will. When I do, I will look heavenward and say, "this is for you, Vicki."
This isn't about charity or some big picture "tapestry of mankind" thing. This is about looking around and seeing a moment when you can do something unexpected for someone, maybe even a complete stranger. This is about doing something nice for someone...and you may not even realize the impact you have on their lives after that.
I call on all of you to take a moment and think about this: Is there something you have or can do...no matter how small you think it is...that would change someone's life forever?
I challenge everyone who reads this to ponder it. And when you find that thing, when you are able to give someone the best 30 seconds of their life, I want you to do it for Vicki.