Security personnel at Baltimore airport efficiently and pleasantly checked people through until my husband put his retired military ID down with his boarding pass. The checker paused, looked my husband in the eye, and said, “Thank you, sir, for your service to our country.” His words may have been even more meaningful to us since some of that service was during the Vietnam Conflict when military men and women often drew the blame for an unpopular war. Nine words – fifteen seconds at most – to brighten our day with appreciation.
The episode started me thinking of others in my past and present who may be taken for granted but could use a “Thank you very much.” Here’s part of my list, but I would wager if I were a gambling person that you have one, too.
• Our church custodian who cares for the building like it was his own and makes the world’s best tea for Wednesday night potluck supper
• Personnel at the local cancer center who maintain cheer and/or comfort with their manner and keep jigsaw puzzles going on the tables for those who are waiting
• My writing partner who’s willing to drive my car two hours each way when we go to New Orleans for our SCBWI meetings since driving is not one of my pleasures in life
• The book store employee who noticed me wandering around and went out of his way to search several different sections to find the book I wanted.
• The church nursery worker who countered my protest that she did not have to rock my youngest all the time with, “But he likes to be rocked”
• An eye doctor who asks every year at my checkup how the writing is going – and actually takes time to listen to the answer [okay, so maybe he marked my chart to remember that I’m a writer, but at least he shows interest]
• School custodians who kept up with the dirt and moved furniture, but took time to tie a kid’s shoelace or take an injured child to the office for Band-aids
• Local public librarians who will order a book I want for the library and put me on the list to read it first
I could go on and this doesn’t even include family members which would be a whole new list!
"Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude."
Having experiences some of those wintry winds lately, I’m making a resolution out of season to pay more attention to those I need to thank.