Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Go Ahead, Make My Day

What does it take to make some one’s day?  I guess it depends on whom that someone is.  Usually it doesn’t take as much as you think it might to brighten a day.  I wrote yesterday about finding old friends.  That always makes my day.  Actually, I’ve been excited about finding these folk after all these years for three days now.  Depending on how much it made their day, it might even go on a bit longer.

I’m now in the mood to think about people from the past.  I get like this a lot.  And cold snowy days in South Dakota seem to make it worse.  I do wonder if ten years from now I’ll be wondering what ever happened to people I have met here in this land of snow.  I imagine I will.  Some people here in South Dakota are worth remembering and finding if we ever lose touch.

Today I wondered about the doctor who delivered my daughter Bethany.  His quick action medically saved her life.  Equally important, his kindness was exceptional.  If you haven’t read that story, you can read about it here and here.  I took a notion to see if he was still in practice.  He is.  I even found a picture of him by googling Google images.  I thought yep – there he is – then I looked for another doctor, and yet another.  I had a different doctor with each delivery, something I do not recommend.  Half were not memorable, Drs. Halverson, Colter, Trumbower and Memkin were.

I thought for a moment about Dr. Halverson.  I wondered if he knew.  I wondered if he knew that I still remembered his name.  I wondered if he knew how much his kindness meant to me. 

He was still a resident then.  He probably wasn't much older than I was at the time.  I wondered if he’d be surprised to find out that the welfare mom and high school drop-out who sat scared in that exam room so many years ago, pregnant, deserted by her husband had finished her college degree because of tears shed that same day he saved my daughter’s life.  I also wondered if he’d remember or care.

I followed my gut.  I would never pick up the phone and call someone out of the blue, or someone from the past.  Heck, I have a hard time calling people I am friendly with now.  I have some odd aversion to phone calls.  However, I have no aversion to sending emails.  I think part of it is that there is no rejection potential other than never getting a reply.

His email was right there in front of me.  Why not?  I sent a brief email.  I told him I remembered him.  I gave him a link to my blog.  I thanked him. 

I think I made his day.  He replied.  He said he had tears in his eyes.  He said he remembered that day.  He said my words meant a lot to him.  That made me well up with tears as well.  It made my day.

Sometimes I think my memory is a problem.  It is too good.  I remember so many things that so many other people forget.   Today I am glad I remembered.  I am glad I took a few minutes to make someone’s day, even if it was 35 years later.

It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day.  Whose day can you make today with a smile, a touch, a call, an email?  Really, that’s all it takes.  And guess what?  You might get a reply that makes your day as well!


  1. This is precious Joyce and kudos to your courage in contacting him.
    One thing I try to do , in that vein, is if I am in a store or restaurant and get good service, I ask to talk to the Manager. You should see the looks on their face when they approach me. I am sure they are thinking "ok, what kind of complaint is she going to give me?" They breathe a sigh of relief when I say things like "good service", "personable and attentive staff" or "clean surroundings".
    I think it makes their day.
    Words are very powerful.
    Thanks, as usual, for sharing. So glad for the miracle of Bethany!AND for what you have done with your life.

  2. when I read your comment Lin, I felt like singing
    Look what the Lord has done
    Look what the Lord has done
    He healed my body, he touched my mind
    He saved me, just in time O' I'm going to praise his name...
    It is grace that has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.

    On another note, I was looking for a manager the other day at Chevy's for the same reason but didn't tell them what I wanted to - that the service at their Sioux Falls restaurant is always exceptional. I think I'll go to their website and leave a comment.

  3. Several months ago, I contacted an old friend (via FB) I hadn't talked to in 33 years. OK, it was an old boyfriend. I wasn't interested in rekindling old flames -- just wanted to say hi. He was "the first love of my life" but I never sensed he felt the same way about me, and was never quite sure how important I was in his life. But I was brought to tears when he responded (via FB), mentioning each of my family members BY NAME, (even my cat!), and said to give them his regards. It thrilled my heart to realize I was more than just a passing fling.

    Even more thrilling is having had the opportunity to reconnect with you, Joyce. You are an angel and a true blessing from God.

  4. If you could see me, you'd see I am a bit teary eyed. Thank you Liz. You are a blessing to me as well.
    I don't remember your cats name and I probably never knew you had one. But I do remember the members of your family very well including the shy little girl with the blonde hair who was a few years behind me in Sunday School and your older brothers who teased me. And just think, now your sort of my adopted sister and I'm part of the family :-).


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