Five Little Words

Hello Monday!

It’s been a crazy for me over the last few months. I’ve been working on a new book and it just keeps getting longer and longer. I’ve decided to keep writing at the kitchen table and NOT sit at the computer for one reason.  I don’t want to get hung up on the word count – I want to tell the story the way the characters want.

But that’s not what I’m writing about today – it’s simply an update if you’ve noticed I haven’t been present on social media lately 🙂

Well that and I’ve been in my cave – looking in instead of out.

But as usual – I digress.

I wanted to share with you how 5 little words have etched themselves into my memory and my soul.

Sandy and I were at Walmart – the place where evil things dwell. No, really – our Walmart has energy vampires or the ground is bad – either one. We go in, we’re fine – and halfway through our shopping – we feel awful, irritated, and just want to leave. There have been times I’ve wanted to leave our cart half full in the aisles – It’s that bad.

Sandy and I also have a deal with ourselves – if we see someone that looks like they need help – we jump right in. This includes people in motorized carts, wheelchairs, and men who have a list in their hands and look lost.

We reach high things on the shelves and find whatever they may be looking for.

On this particular day, we were going down each aisle in the food section – Sandy was on the next one over. I noticed a stooped elderly man staring at the low shelves and asked if he needed help. He looked up at me and his watery blue eyes held my attention – there was a connection.

You know that one right? That moment when you meet someone and you sense deep down, that this is important.

In spite of that flash of recognition, he shook his head, and turned away.  I felt his loneliness hit me in the heart and part of me wanted to weep for him. Normally, I would chalk that emotion up to the dark energy at our Walmart, but this was different.

When he had been facing me, I noticed his hat.

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He had taken two steps before I said:

“Sir, you have a great day and thank you for your service.”

These five words I say often – when I see veterans, men and women in uniform. That’s all I have to give – five words. – I want them to know I appreciate their sacrifices. In the great big scheme of things, it seems so insignificant to me.

Well, the gentleman didn’t acknowledge me and kept walking in the other direction.

I found Sandy and we’d gone down and up another aisle before I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to find it was him and he held out his arthritis crippled hand and grasped mine.

“Thank you,” he said. “You are the first and only person who has said that to me. Ever.”

The tears I’d been holding slipped out and I managed to tell him I’d meant it. He smiled at me and his whole face lit up. He was beautiful and that moment I knew was so important was awe inspiring and so spiritual.

I’ve never seen him again – but I’ll never forget him. I always tear up when I think of that day.  That moment in time I knew was important.

I learned something valuable that day. Five short words can change your life – and heal others.

Thank you for your service.

See ya’ll next week.

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Five Little Words

  1. Thank you for this blog. My younger brother is a Vietnam Vet. He served in the Navy and his ship did two tours in the war zone while he was on it. It’s only been the last couple of years that his PTSD from that service has become evident. A “Thank You” means a lot to the men who served. Many of them faced a lot of hate when they returned and any gesture of appreciation for their service goes a long way to help heal old wounds. So….Thank You.

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  2. My wife said to me one day that she loves to watch the vets faces when I thank them & I try to always thank them when I see them. She says I go out of my way to shake their hand & say thanks. I tell her everyone should do that especially those of us who didn’t serve in the military. It takes a brave person to sign on the line that says they will give their life for us & our countries freedoms. I will always thank them for their service!

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  3. Thank you for giving thanks for all of our vets. I’ve been blessed many times, by many people for the time that I served. During the ramp up to the 2nd Gulf War, when I was serving full time with the Ohio Army National Guard, I spent weekdays doing payroll and weekends – for months – traveling the state, mobilizing units. Hardly a day when by when I wasn’t in uniform somewhere that someone didn’t go out of their way to speak to me. Times when I could sit down to lunch on weekdays somewhere besides my desk, I rarely paid for my food – not for a lack of funds or trying to pay. People would thank us overtly and pay for us, all of us. Sometimes there were 6 or 8 or more of us. Others would pay for me and my fellow soldiers quietly and leave, leaving us grateful but bewildered with no way to ever repay their kindness

    There are a lot of good people out there who are appreciative of our currently serving military and our vets. We appreciate them, as well.

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  4. It seems like you had a rare moment of real human connection in a soulless space. But when you think of it, the encounter didn’t just happen, you’re whole outlook was open to the prospect of helping someone in need and that led to a very special moment. I find that inspiring.

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  5. Your kindness and genuine thankfulness perhaps changed that soldier’s outlook forever! Way to step up and spread joy to someone who may have needed it more than anyone realized…

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