I wrote a story about the importance of the human connection. Call me a dreamer, or better yet, call me old-fashioned, but I believe that love really does conquer all. Not the love of fleeting passions or fickle affections. True love is sacrificial. It sticks around for the “worst” in “for better or for worse.” It focuses more on “other” and less on “self.” Are you blessed enough to know someone who is capable of this kind of love? I am. I know a few of them. And I wanted to tell a story with these kinds of characters because they stoke the heart and ring true to everyone. If I was asked to define a mission for my book, it would be to rekindle what is at the core of human relationships and get back to the basics in life. In the last decade or so, it seems we are more connected to machines and selfish material pursuits than we are to each other. We launch our every thought into cyberspace thinking the whole world is waiting to know our opinion. We play games on the Internet without the laughter and personal interaction. We seek pleasure in simulated worlds. Meanwhile, the people we live with are sitting a few feet away. A lonely neighbor might be right across the street. Maybe the only thing that would make their day worthwhile is a bit of conversation or a shared cup of coffee. Instead, we are more interested in Hollywood celebrities than the real people around us. It makes for a pretty dysfunctional society. One last thought: We take too much for granted. Especially when it comes to the people we love. Every once in a while, tragedies like 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina make us pause and take inventory of the things that should be most important to us, but unless we are directly affected, we don’t make an effort to change. Why is that? Why don’t we ever learn? I don’t think it’s morbid to imagine being stripped of your blessings. I think it’s a necessary exercise in appreciation. What would you miss most?