My schedule is always full to the max. I’m a case manager technician for a non-profit organization and our case load is HEAVY. Add my academic commitments and my writing to the mix and you’ll end up with about 4 hours of sleep. And there is one more item to add to the equation: I also volunteer as a reader for seniors and for everybody else interested in hearing my Spanish accent in action.
I’m always telling myself that I should stop volunteering because my full time job and this activity are both very taxing. Then I look at one of my favorite wintered faces and realize that wouldn’t be able to give up the joy of their smiles. That was the reason why it hurt so much to say goodbye, now that I’m leaving the area. I didn’t want to stay long—yes, I’m a chicken when it comes to goodbyes.
I decided to go to see them after a dental appointment, that way I could blame any sneaky tears on the torturous dental experience. I finished with my dental appointment and walked to see my guys—they are in the same facility, in a different department of course. My wicked darlings—they love when I call them that—had met at the community lounge, so that I wouldn’t have to go to every single room. I walked in and I was received by a huge SURPRISE!!! I really was not expecting it, but I was super happy nonetheless when the handed a pink perfumed envelop.
I clutched the girly package to my chest, looking away to hide tears. I’m a really ugly crier and I figured that being numbed from the dentist would enhance the fact to horrid proportions.
“Open the damn thing and stop weeping like an old woman. You are a freaking Marine!” said the wickedest of my darlings.
I opened the card, picked up something that fell out of it and started wailing like a fool: it was a money order for $513.13! I loved the gesture and thanked them too many times to count. Then I went to see the nurse on duty—my friend Denyse who told me that I “better mention” her name if I wrote about the event.
“Can you make sure they get their money back? It was so sweet, but you know this would be unethical.” I was still a bit emotional about getting the gift, and why lie? Also because I wanted to keep it.
“I ain’t doing all that work.” She made a face. “It would have to be split about 100 ways!”
“Oh, come on Denyse, there are only 33 residents. I would do it if I could, but I really need to go home and pack.” I whined.
“Everybody pitched in girl. The staff and volunteers too; we didn’t want to feel left out.”
I stared at the money order. “But this is so… I mean… five hundred dollars? Denyse, I…”
She smiled at me. “Mags, we know how bad you want that electric reader thingie. You’ve talked about it for months. Buy it and every time you use it remember that what you do doesn’t go unnoticed.”
I didn’t hide the fat tears that ran down my cheeks. I was so happy. Not for the money—although that was very nice. I was happy because of the gesture. They paid attention to me, even to the point of getting the money order for 513.13—13 is my lucky number. They listened to me and not just the words I read to them, but to my personal wants too. They noticed and appreciated my efforts in such a wonderful way. I’ll miss them so much…
What about you? When was the last time someone really noticed your efforts?
By the way, I’m crying like an idiot again and I’m not ashamed, not one bit.