The professional looking envelope sat on our cutting board next to the kitchen sink, an odd place for a piece of mail, but then odd things happen around our house with regularity. Take the ten-year-old dog sporting the periwinkle blue diaper who lays in a wicker basket, that is filled with his lumpy dog-toy-stuffed-animals-that-squeak-when-he-bites-them, for example…
I didn’t recognize the company and probably would have chucked it in the junk mail pile had the spelling of my name not been correct, a rarity, believe it or not… I peeled back the edge of the flap with the dried glue on the back and worked my fat index finger in and used it as a barbaric letter opener that leaves a nasty and jagged entrance to the contents inside.
I quickly glanced the perfectly unfolded in thirds letter and read it over, “I’ll be… Well, that’s a first.” I mumbled to my wife who was sorting through the mountain of mail that would mostly end up in the trash can.
“What is it?” she asked, not looking up from her task. I handed it to her without offering an answer. She looked confused even as she was reading it, “What is this?” she demanded.
“It’s from the last people I sent my hair to,” I answered.
“Oh!” she mused.
“About time, huh?” I asked.
“Yeah, really,” she agreed.
“After all those years of sending my hair, this is the first one that actually sent a ‘thank you’ letter,” I pondered aloud and hence forth comes the tale of the pony tail…
If my count is right, I’ve sent in my bound and cut locks seven times… that’s gotta be over six feet of hair. Before you get the idea that my right hand is bragging to my left, let me clarify: my hair grows rapidly and to keep it manicured perfectly would take at least twice a month maintenance at minimum.
It’s not a priority for me, I want fast and easy, and letting it grow while in a pony tail is more of a too busy and too lazy mentality. So I figure if I’m going to be like that, the least I can do is let it get long enough and endure the inconvenience of the last four months or so when the length bugs me to no end for the benefit of someone else…
The first lopped off pony tail I sent to be used to make wigs for kids with cancer was more than fourteen inches. The last one I sent to the nonprofit company was the one with the least restrictive tolerances, it was around ten inches at the tip.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t send it to get a “thanks,” I sent it for what I envisioned in my mind to be beautiful little girls created by our Father who might want to wear a wig while going through chemo… I thought about if it were to have been one of my girls when they were young, which they were back when I started sending in the chopped off pony tails.
While I was considering the other companies who didn’t send a “thank you” note, I thought about the friends that paid for dinner a few weeks back that I forgot to “thank”. I also thought about all I take for granted in my life and how I tend to have an expecting attitude instead of a thankful one.
I reflect on all the days that I didn’t say thank you to my Father and family… I was reminded that we don’t give to get, but we are to be grateful for all things… not the least of which is you… From the bottom of my heart and the tip of my short pony tail, I say “thank you” for being here. I’m honored.