I talk to people all day long. Mostly about their problems. Sometimes self-imposed and sometimes happenstance. The people are usually confused, frustrated, angry, depressed and anxious by the time I answer my phone.
Sometimes I answer and I am the one who is all of the above..
Sometimes, I get the opportunity to talk to people that have been thrown a curve ball, and I mean a crappy curve ball; lost their job, lost their spouse, lost their health, and yet, don't bemoan their circumstance, of course they're not happy about it, but they are grateful for any help I can give..in any way. And even if that help is just me picking up the phone, listening to their sad/bad circumstances and letting them rant, me relating to their situation, maybe even making them laugh or maybe even letting them cry. We do both.
It's usually then, when their grateful attitude brings me to tears, quite often actually. Usually they don't know it. Mostly because we are talking on the phone. So I can hold it together, hold back. I do what I can then I am obligated to move the work along. No time to keep in touch. I have spoken to some folks face to face and some over the phone, many I will never forget. It's like God put me there to meet them, hear their story. Feel their pain. And through feeling their pain, heal mine.
I've received many thank you notes over the years, but two stand out, funny and touching, both authentic and intentional. One said: "Mr. C-------; Please be happy."
They spelled my name wrong. And clearly they thought : a) I was a man, which happens quite often with my husky voice, and b) I am not happy...? Did I reveal a secret suppressed unhappiness? They included a picture of themselves surrounded by a lovely park-like setting. This note is hanging on my drab, gray cubicle wall. It's a keeper.
The other note is from a woman around my age and to paraphrase, it simply states: "even if at this point, if I can't get any other ..... then thank you for being you. You are one of a kind." The notes like this one bring on the tears.
I feel their gratitude, their love. Hope they feel mine.