Culture

Gratitude: Thank you bench lady

In the span of 24 hours, I received several very heartfelt notes thanking me.   I was thanked for going out of my way to help a couple of people who are in dire straights and very sad situations.  I don’t need the “thank you” but it surely feels nice.   These expressed sentiments are particularly welcomed as I have been going through a few weeks, where despite all my hard work, I haven’t really felt appreicated. And that is an understatement.  Actually, what is the opposite of appreciated?

 

The notes I received warmed my heart. I felt good. I felt accomplished. I felt that I was putting out good into the world and hopefully repelling what is bad.   If you can do enough good deeds, they can act as a mosquito net keeping out that which is bad. The happiness that others felt at what I had done was a bit overwhelming. I didn’t expect such effusive grattitude. I can only hope that things really get better for these individuals. And truth be told, what I did, while perhaps seen as life saving,  required just a few hours of my time.  It was either help some people out or watch some more bad television.

 

And this is where I find myself. And where my head has been out.

 

While mulling through all the good and bad in my life, at the moment, I stepped outside my office and walked the parking lot. I try to do that now so that I can try to get my 10,000 steps in each day.  I walked for a bit and then I sat on a bench. I looked at my phone and pulled up the latest trends on Twitter. The world seemed like it was still steeped in chaos. I sighed.

 

Then a lady sat down next to me and started talking to me about the parking lot dog.  I mentioned how I was worried about the dog. But she assured me that he was blessed. Whereas other dogs just have one family, he had all of us in the office complex.  I smiled at her and thanked her for sharing that perspective.  I looked at her again. She has gone through much in life. That one can see. She then started talking to me about her flea bites and how her friend had bed bugs. I started to itch a bit. But I didn’t move.  I asked her how she was feeling and whether she was ok. She noted that she was fine. She had her own secret formula to killing all those critters off. She proceeded to detail the recipe to me. I smiled at her again. Resilience!  I listened to her. I smiled. I nodded. I asked follow up questions.

 

I told her that I had to go and thanked her for her company.  She looked at me and I knew that in that moment she knew my heart was heavy. She asked me my name. I told her. And she noted that it was her mom’s name as well. I laughed and said good woman bear that name.  She got up and told me to be strong and hoped that I would be ok. She noted that she knew that I have a good heart and that I would rise above it all.  To her, I was a good person that deserved to be happy.  I asked her how she knew any of this, as I giggled a bit.   She said she was 61 years old and knew what was what.  I teared up for a second and thanked her. When I walked away a few feet, I realized that I never got her name. I turned back around but she was gone.

 

I went into my office and held on to her words. I still do. Wherever she is, I am most grateful to her for her kindness. I don’t know what she saw in me at that point in time, but I saw a strong woman who I hope can continue to be strong and for whom things get a little less hard.  Thank you dear lady.  You soothed my heart that day.

 

It is a crazy world. But there are are some interesting moments that cut to your core.

10 replies »

  1. This is such a touching story, and almost a little mystical as she disappeared after saying she “knew what was what” (eerie, but in a good way)! Hold onto that compassion & that hope you found from her that day, and know that there are many more wonderful people who can likewise share that touch of care when you need it again in future.xx

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