Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A 4-Year Old Thank You!

I walked into the bank this morning disheartened and slightly pissy. I was there to withdraw all but $10 from my account to pay a bill at the oral surgeons. I stood in line frustrated and ready to burst into tears.

As I walked up to the teller, she asked me if my tan was natural. Huh? I don't tan lady. I burn. Like crispy critter burn and on top of that I use sunscreen religiously. I told her as much and she commented on how beautiful my skin is. Ok, I'll admit I'm just vain enough that this compliment took a tiny chip off my bad mood.

I handed her my withdrawal slip and passed her my drivers license. She read my name, started working the computer, and asked if she could tell me a story. She started telling me about her daughter who was diagnosed with skin cancer. By the time it was diagnosed, it had spread and within 1 1/2 years, her daughter had passed away. I was holding back tears, afraid that if my own tears fell, this woman would start to cry as well.

Her story sounded so familiar. I worked with a guy named Kevin at JELD-WEN and his wife was diagnosed with skin cancer. One and half years later, she was gone. Her story is the reason I use sunscreen religiously.  

The teller started talking to me about how these three ladies had gone and decorated her daughter's house for fall and again for Christmas.

By now I'm really fighting back tears. I start to wonder if Kevin's wife Julie appreciated it when we did the same gesture for her. I start to realize that something I thought of as insignificant in the grand scheme of things could have meant more to her.

It was about that time the teller looked at me and said, "Thank you. I never met you but I've always remembered your names. I never had a chance to thank you but Julie appreciated what you gals did for her."

That was about four years ago. There were three of us at work that wanted to do something so we decorated for the holidays when she didn't have the energy. And we cooked weeks worth of meals that we delivered so her family could eat and she wouldn't have that burden. She passed and I cried. She was a beautiful person and so incredibly strong.

I left the bank in an entirely different mood. A little sad. A litle melancholy. But also incredibly happy.

I was reminded that every day we have opportunities to touch someone and leave an impression on them. I left wanting to do something nice for someone.

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