Friday, August 19, 2016

A proper thank you note in the midst of difficulty

I'm going to post the whole thing, but don't be intimidated by it. It's a heartwarming, eyes welling up story I'm sure you will like.

"To the usher at the Cardinals game who spent two innings finding my son a bottle of milk: thank you"
When I asked you if you knew where I could find milk for my son, at Busch Stadium on a sweltering summer evening, I expected you to tell me I was out of luck, or at best offer a vague suggestion.
Instead, you took us several sections over into the Redbird Club even though our tickets didn’t grant us access, because you knew it housed a bakery – but they were out of milk. Instead of giving up, you took us three levels down to a store on the main concourse, where we once again struck out – which you know, because you stayed and helped us look. So you led us halfway around the stadium to a donut stand, where we at last found what we were looking for. While I paid for it you grabbed us the straw my son was asking for, along with some napkins for good measure. And then you went back with us, halfway around the stadium and up three levels and back through the Redbird Club and over several sections, to make sure we didn’t get lost on our way back, because we’d had to travel so very far to find that bottle of milk. It took two innings, but you made sure my son was happy.
You did all this not knowing why that milk was important to us. You may have thought my son was spoiled, or that I was a pushover unwilling to say no to her three year old. If you thought that, you didn’t show it. You were wonderful.
What you didn’t know is that beneath my son’s Yadi t-shirt there’s a central line and a feeding tube. You didn’t know that the unusual form and function of his little body mean that he dehydrates easily, but also that drinking too much water could ultimately land us in the hospital, and for whatever reason, against most logic, right now milk is the thing he tolerates best. 
You didn’t know that for the better part of the last three years it’s been incredibly hard for us to go places on a whim, or that in recent months we’ve vowed not to let his medical needs stop us from doing things, and so taking up our friends on these last-minute Cardinals tickets was a small triumph for us. You didn’t know that we might be facing another big surgery soon that could keep us mostly quarantined to our own house for weeks or months; or that I’d forgotten to grab his milk because I’d received an unexpected and lengthy phone call from his doctor as we were packing up our ballgame bag and had been distracted by talking through the laundry list of changes she wanted us to make in a last-ditch effort to avoid that surgery.
You didn’t know those things. You just saw a boy who wanted some milk, and you were kind to him. And I can’t thank you enough.
These people have all the reason in the world to be mad and upset, that this is happening to their little boy, and they are not. They took a little time to say thank you to somebody for going the extra mile, as he would for any other person probably.


Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

That is a great story. Thanks for posting it.

AllenS said...

People who have values do this daily.

ndspinelli said...

Gratitude is something I seek in myself. I thank people in person, in writing, and online every chance I get. I was taught that by my parents, Jesuits, and the good Sisters of St. Joseph. I constantly pray to God to help me be vigilant in being gracious. These nice people are the kind of people you want to have as friends.

Lem has a good heart. He finds stories like this and shares them w/ us. The older I get the more I seek out people w/ good hearts, and avoid those w/ darkness and negativity.

Chip Ahoy said...


You know what? I think Gary is full of shit about the 50,000 acres. I drove a tractor on a piece of a section of a 2,000 acre wheat field in Nebraska. And that was broken up into pieces here and there. And it is very large. Ridiculously large. The back and forth, grooming the dirt, they keep it like dirt powder that you sink into when you climb off the tractor to pull the weeds out of the tool that is dragging. The toll is 64 feet wide, and I think one of them is 80 feet wide. Everything is huge.

But 50,000 acres is 78 square miles and that is impossible.

That place in Louisiana really was huge, but it cannot that huge, I don't think.

I challenged Gary on the figure several times at 15 years of age and again a few decades later after all the tragedies passed. He still insisted the number is accurate.

Now, Gary brags a lot. He aggrandizes things. He thinks in huge terms. He is huge himself. He says impossible things. Yet so far they all turned out to be true. He's baffling.

At fifteen years and new to the Bossier City school, we both were, he told me that he studied classical piano. That he wrote a few things himself. I thought, yeah, brag on, you f'n liar.

Then shortly after the school called us all to assembly. We had no idea the reason. Gary strode on stage and sat the piano and banged out an impossibly complex song that none of us understood. He's so fat that this fat fingers hit more piano keys than they should but it hardly mattered to us. We didn't comprehend his music anyway. It sounded like Beethoven or something to us except more complex.

The kids had a name for him, 'Haystack' because that's what he looked like striding by. After that it was Haystack with authoritah! Haystack with respect. He was Haystack viewed with awe. Because he blew us all away at once. On top of all that he is tremendously funny. A natural comic. The crap he comes up with is totally original and unique to his specific brand of humor. Crap like this:

"Hey Cook! My hamburger has hair in it? What's going on here?"

*Southern black woman's voice* "I don't know, Mizza Jeffries I bin makin' em same as I always do." Patty cake, patty cake, boom patty boom, patty cake patty cake boom patty boom."

He pantomimed making hamburger patties slapping between his hands and under his arms on the boom. A fat person doing that is hilarious.

Now who would come up with shit like that?

Or he'd put his hand in both pockets, and say, "Hey little girl, do you like rabbits? You do? Would you like to kiss this sweet little bunny? You would? Okay, here." He'd pull both hands from is pockets and bring the pockets with them so they fell to his sides drape like two white floppy bunny ears." Then his big fat Haystack gut would roll with laughter.

About the astronomically high number of acres, 10X in excess of outrageously high number, I'd say, "You've confused acres with inches." and "you meant 50 acres." "500 acres is too many acres." and "5,000 acres is too much to own," and in each case he stuck with that figure, and now at this late point I still cannot accept it. But that is what he said, that is what he insisted.

Leland said...

Yeah, but it probably wasn't chocolate milk. #BlackMilkMatters