The Thank You Note
by Kristi Jo Jedlicki
The thank you note was written on a scrap piece of paper that was carefully folded up and gently pressed into the palm of my hand by one of our regular guests at the day shelter for homeless men where I have the pleasure and privilege of working. The note was written in pencil, and the handwriting was small, yet very neat. What it lacked in proper grammar and sentence structure, it more than made up for in its heartfelt sentiment.
The note began with “Shorts 38 or 40”, indicating that the author of said note was in need of a new pair of underwear. What most of us consider to be a basic staple of our wardrobe, this gentleman considers to be a luxury item. While I could not provide him with permanent housing, which is the ultimate item every one of our guests needs and deserves, on this day, I could fulfill his meager request. The rest of this note was an unexpected precious gift that he graciously gave to me.
This is what he wrote, in his own words, following his request for new underwear:
“Thanks. U are a very sweet person. Great to know you. Always smiling and being very nice to others. Thanks again.
Say hello to your kids. Hope they are doing fine. Get plenty of rest this weekend. I can tell why are tired and not yourself. I worry about you. Please be careful.
This man, who wakes up every day in the survival mode that is required by all those who have no place to call home and who must navigate the streets and maze of community services and resources, still finds it in his heart to care about others. He has every reason to worry only about himself, yet he finds reasons to worry about the well-being of others. Every day, he greets me with a big smile and holds my hand in his, as he gives me the rundown of the daily news that he carefully gleans from the local newspaper and peppers me with questions about myself and my daughters. For as much as he thinks that I give to him, I assure you that he gives far more to me, simply by always being genuine and kind.
Thank you, Stan, and I love you right back!
Kristi’s previous Guest Blogs –
Author – Kristi Jo Jedlicki resides in Kentucky, where basketball, horses, and bourbon reign supreme, and not necessarily in that order.
She says she is “a perfectly flawed southern girl who dreams big and has stories to tell. I am simply myself, and I am many things to many people, including, but not limited to:
- a better ex-wife than wife
- a mom to two extraordinary daughters
- a southerner raised by Yankee parents
- the youngest of three daughters, who puts the fun in dysfunctional
- a loyal friend to a diverse cast of characters
- a social worker
- a writer and blogger
- an avid lover of music of all sorts
- a big dreamer, despite living through some nightmares
- a pessimistic optimist or an optimistic pessimist