A few weeks ago, I shared a story about three friends who embodied purpose and service.
Dan Montgomery is CEO of Fritz Industries. He is a client, a friend, and a diligent reader of our posts. Dan replied to the post about purpose and service with a compelling story of his own. With his permission, here is his note to me….
I hope you and the family are doing well. I wanted to share a good thing for me personally that came out of the pandemic.
For years, (going on 20) my wife, Jen, has driven Meals on Wheels. And, for years, I’ve listened to her tell me about “her people”. I was always kind of dismissive and half-way listening as she told me this and that about Millie and Sam, and how Bunny has something going on with her feet and Bernice is just not very nice sometimes.
Also, for years, she’s asked me, “Why don’t you take the day off and drive Meals on Wheels with me today?” I’ve always passed on the offer. With the new work-from-home era, I was able to see and hear Jen answer emails and participate in endless Zoom calls. I saw her excitement and anticipation as she got ready to go see her people.
After watching this for a couple of weeks, I finally suggested, “Why don’t I take off today and drive Meals on Wheels with you?” That day was June 4th of 2020, and my life and our relationship changed forever… a lot and for the better. In the midst of a global pandemic, with masks, social distancing and concerns about what the future held for all of us, I rode with her.
I finally got to meet Jen’s people. I got to see the mixed emotions of smiles, sadness, happiness, and loneliness on their faces as they opened the door to two smiling faces with a meal and words of encouragement.
I quickly came to the realization that our faces might be the only ones that they see all week. There were thousands of stories that they wanted to tell, family pictures that they wanted to show us and ailments they wanted to tell us about.
Another thing that I realized was that human touch is highly underrated. Many of the people on her route, as we were saying our goodbyes would reach out and simply touch my arm. Understanding that not only were we the only people that they might see all week, but also that slight brush of the arm or pat on the shoulder might be the only physical contact they might experience for many days.
Over a year later, every other Thursday, I’m still delivering meals with Jen. It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and it’s something that I will continue to do post-pandemic. Millie, Sam, and Bunny still have the same issues, but you know what we figured out? It’s not that Bernice isn’t a nice person, she just wanted to see a man at her door. There’s a big smile on her face when she sees me standing there with her meal. Yeah buddy, I still got it. 😊
The other thing that’s happened over this past year is that these people are no longer just Jen’s people. They are “our people”.
Keep the newsletters coming.
Cheers and God Bless, Dan
We hope you, like Dan, find a new perspective and/or activity that renews your sense of purpose and service.