In February, I wrote about the brief 2002 encounter between Mark Henick and Mike Richey on a bridge in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Here’s the synopsis: Teenager Mark was preparing to end his life. Youth worker Mike saved it. They separated, but neither person ever forgot the other.
Over time, Mark healed, then went on to change other lives – and likely save a good many – through his work with the Canadian Mental Health Association.
It’s a ripple effect of unknowable proportions.
Twelve years after they met on a bridge, Mark and Mike reconnected over the Internet. Mark read a long, emotional emailed letter from Mike, then publicly shared a desire to reunite with his rescuer in person.
It finally happened. Earlier this month, the two men were face to face once again. This time, they were both smiling.
Mark used the word “closure” the describe what the reunion has meant to him. As for Mike, he was all about the hugging. “It wasn’t about words or anything like that,” he told a CBC reporter. “If I could have went back in time and given that young boy a hug when he needed it, that would have been awesome. But I still got to do it at the end of the day.”
Now that the two have found each other again, I have a feeling they’ll remain friends. After all, they share a common purpose in their professional lives. They’re both helping people in need. And even by spreading the story of their most personal moment 12 years ago on a bridge, they are surely making a difference. They’re sending a message.
Yes, it gets better.
There may be a hug in it for you, too.