I’ve given away a lot of things on the eve of Thanksgiving, (including my virginity) but what I got yesterday was an amazing present. Yesterday, Thanksgiving Eve 2013, I was given something remarkable – a thank you, a sincere and appreciative thank you. Let me tell you the story.
A package was delivered to my house by one of the postal carriers who work “my” route. I heard the delivery truck pull up in front of my house and correctly predicted that my new boots were being delivered. I was at the bottom of the stairs before the bell had even rung.
As I accepted the package, the carrier looked at me and asked “Are you the person who gave me a cold drink on that hot day a few months ago? I’ve been looking for you.”
She was referring to an afternoon in early September. I had pulled on to my block, in the middle of the afternoon on an unseasonably hot day. I noticed the mail carrier. She looked uncomfortable from the heat. I went into my house, grabbed a cold Gatorade from the fridge and caught up with her on my neighbor’s porch. I held the bottle, already slippery from condensation, out to her.
She looked at me with confusion. I spoke, telling her that I thought she might like something to drink on such a hot day. I won’t forget what she said: “Are you serious? That’s for me?” I assured it was and walked away as she placed the frosty bottle on the back of her neck.
When she appeared at my door yesterday, I recognized her and smiled, thanking her for bringing my boots. She remembered that other day and the small gesture of kindness which I had shown to her. She thanked me and explained that she had been truly suffering that day. On the verge of heat stroke, she had phoned her supervisor informing him that she wasn’t certain she could continue her deliveries. She considered phoning 911 because she felt so very close to fainting.
When I gave her that drink, she said, it revived her. It changed her day completely. She told me I had saved her life and that she thought of me as her angel. Me? Can you imagine? The same girl who had given up her innocence on a long ago Thanksgiving eve, was being sanctified on the very same day all these years later.
So? What’s the point of this story? I guess this – sometimes we give a priceless part of ourselves away and realize minimal gain. On other occasions, we give away something which is infinitely less precious, yet reap rewards which will be everlasting. There’s giving and there are thanks.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.