Day 29: Meredith Tobin Heffner


Dear Meredith:

It often amazes me how the simplest gesture can make such a difference.

Lying in bed early this morning making my first bleary-eyed scroll through social media I came across a comment from a friend who said something really nice about a blog post from yesterday. It was endearing enough that it brought a tear. After the tears subsided I reckoned to a moment not long ago when you wrote me something equally as touching.

Something inside has always allowed me to detect certain qualities in people as a fairly quick study. It came in especially handy during interviews where the aim is often pulling information from people whose job it is not to reveal things. As mass communication has evolved and my spectrum of friends has grown I’d like to think I have that same sense about relationships on social media.

But it wasn’t difficult with you at all. Your hopeful words toward the end of my first camino were exactly what I needed, when I needed it. Some people are blatantly encouraging, and I thank God for people like you.

Meredith (second from left) with family last Christmas.

Meredith (second from left) with family last Christmas.

Post-camino and months later I wrote and asked the favor of a “testimonial” for another blog site where I regularly tested writing that will soon make its way into my first book. Your response was quick and immediate. “What’s my deadline?” I believe those were your first words. Thank you for saying yes.

But thank you even more for how you said it in a subsequent paragraph. I dug back through some notes to read exactly what you wrote in a brief encouraging sidebar.

“Steve, I read a lot of stuff and you’ve got what it takes, believe me. You really do have it. You’ve got this.”

Triumphant pilgrim.

Triumphant pilgrim.

I’m not repeating those words so to boost my own ego, I hope you know. I’m recounting them because they meant so much. Your words gave me a push at a critical moment when I needed a push. In fact, I recall a certain peace that came with your note as I stepped into something quite unknown.

Sometimes we all need to know we’ve got what it takes. Thank you for being the type of person who knows that, and acts on it. I have the feeling I’m not the only person who is the beneficiary of your gracious gestures. I aspire to be more like you in this way.

And yes, you’ll be one of the first to have an autographed copy. I still have that request.

PS: It was a pleasure to follow you on your own pilgrimage across the camino.

A fellow pilgrim in life, and with sincere gratitude,

Steve Watkins

2 thoughts on “Day 29: Meredith Tobin Heffner

  1. Steve, to know my sister is a gift on to it’s own. To know where Meredith learned the term “encouragement” was from our father. My dad would sit at the end of Merediths bed and listen to her talk about everything in life. He always told her that nothing is out of reach and once you find your stride, to run like the wind. If I ask of any trait my sister could have complimented to do Gods work, the act of “Encouragement” for others would have been the gift. She is honest, some times brutally, but her heart is with all her answeres. She has helped me move mountains. Byron Tobin, Merediths’ brother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Byron, thank you SO much for sharing that. Encouragement is such an important gift. We ALL need it. And there’s not one thing in the world wrong with brutal honesty. I hope to meet you both personally one day. Thank you, and vaya con Dios.


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