One marked off my Bucket List
By Linda Hatler

Posted on February 12, 2015 11:03 PM

When I was about 12 years old, attending Adairville School, I found a list of available pen-pals from all over the world. The complete list was probably in a Teen magazine or Weekly Reader. I picked the name of a girl from far away, Hawaii, before this country was one of our 50 states. Her name was Diana-Lee Ahau.

We corresponded for several years about records we were playing, (of course mine were Elvis), our friends, and gifts we got under the Christmas tree. We exchanged pictures of each other. Diana-Lee and I both had no siblings, so we had some time on our hands, and those long summers stretched out before us

Then time fast-forwarded 50 years
About five years ago, it occurred to me one day, wonder what ever happened to her?

I decided to try to look her up on the internet. I entered her name and old address, and was pleasantly surprised to find her! Next I mailed a registered letter to her with my email address included. She responded fairly soon, saying she seldom was online, but happened to see it. She was very surprised to find I had still kept those old letters and pictures.

Then time fast-forwarded 5 years
The Logan County Cattlemen group were planning a trip to Oahu, Hawaii in the summer of 2014. I emailed Diana-Lee and we agreed to meet each other. I could hardly wait!

When we arrived I had some problem getting a good cell phone signal in the hotel, but finally we connected. She met us at the Outrigger Hotel where the group was staying.

We had an enjoyable three-hour visit, comparing the similar paths our lives had taken through the years. We both still live at our original home places, had jobs associated with social work, each have two daughters, etc. Finally, we said our tearful goodbyes over a Starbucks coffee!

Then time fast-forwarded 1 day
Next day at the airport, 19 minutes before we were to board the plane, my name was called loudly, to please come to the ticket desk. A Delta airline attendant asked me to please come quickly with her. As we walked a long hike, she explained that a woman had been delayed in traffic, and had some flowers for me! There was no way for her to give them to me unless I went back through security... then I saw behind the glass stood Diana-Lee with two beautiful flower leis in both hands! Asking the attendant if I had time to go back through the maze, she replied "Yes, if you hurry." So here I go, hugging Diana-Lee quickly as she put the fresh flower leis around my neck!

She even had a candy one for my husband Glen, who at this point had no idea where I had been!

The Delta attendant, Pam Saito, told me on the way back to the gate, that she couldn't stand the thought of a friend coming that far and missing me. I thanked her, telling her how much I appreciated her kindness! I commented that this would make a good news story, so I promised to write it!

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