Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Phone Call, To A Letter... To A Life Changing Friendship

--by chicakgk, posted Jun 5, 2010

My first full time job after high school was selling vacation packages via telephone for a well known company.  One day, the dialer connected me to a man that answered the phone and sounded a bit out of breath.  I started with my normal pitch, and expecting to hear the normal, "I don't want any," and be hung up on.  

Instead he spoke in a faint, weak voice and began to tell me how he wished he could take a vacation like the one I was offering, but couldn't because he was dying of emphysema.  He explained how he was on oxygen, and it took almost all his energy just to get to the phone to answer the call.  I apologized, and my heart fell into my stomach.  He asked me if I smoked, which I did, and then begged me to stop.  He told me smoking is what was killing him, and how horrible it was.  He told me to spend every day with my loved ones, and tell them all the time how much I love them. At this point, I was in tears, and couldn't control myself, and he could tell.  We ended the call, and I put my phone on hold to prevent another call from comming in so I could collect myself. 

After a few moments, I deceided to write down his name and address, and just send him a card telling him that I appreciated his advice and that I would pray for him and his family.  Shortly after, I received a nice letter back from Frank, along with a picture of him and his wife.  We continued to write back and forth over the next few months or so, and became very fond of each other.  He was old enough to be my grandfather, and in many ways, I felt as if he was. 

It was about a year later I received a letter from his wife, and when I started to read it, my eyes filled with tears.  She told me how Frank's battle with the disease had finally come to an end, and he passed shortly before Christmas.  She wanted to thank me for the letters I had written to Frank, and then explained how Frank touched many lives over the years.  At his funeral, to show just that, they read the 1st letter I had written to Frank to show how he affected a 19 year old he had never even met. 

I will never forget how much that meant to me.

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Readers Comments

JustB wrote: That's so beautiful that you took the time to write those letters. Thank you for making the world better through your kindness:)
oldgirl wrote: As a young girl of 19, frank made a big impression on you. You took the time to write me a nice note on a card for him and it seems that he was impressed with your action and kindness chicakgk.

It was wonderful of you to keep in touch with him and he and his family obviously appreciated that.

Congratulations for making a difference to a sick man chicakgk.
Zevelina wrote: A love the effect a sipmle old-fashioned letter has. Keep writing!
Bomi wrote: Very touching,i hope people stop smoking from this real story.
Ithunn wrote: It made me cry.

I hope you stopped smoking.

It warms me to think that, just before frank passed away, he made sure he did something for those who stayed behind: you. It's his legacy, now it's up to you to pass it on.
iferlamb wrote: Very touching!

cacayla wrote: Very touching story, and a reminder that we all need to reach out an love one another, spend time with our families, because our time is truly limited. Thanks for the story, and the reminder.
papamikey wrote: Chicakgk that was a fantastic story. Older people that have experience in life can be such a joy to us, but you were also a great joy to him in being his friend. Also his wife loves you for that, so you make sure to keep in touch with her. She loved her husband, who loved you and your letters, so now you are a part of her also. Very nice chicakgk
sydskies wrote: The old man reminds me a lot of my grandfather who passed away last summer of emphysema. So this story touches me personally. Its sweet and wonderful
luv4all wrote: I think its an incredible achievement that your letter was read at someone's funeral. Both of you were really able to relate at a deep less. B'ful, a rare experience. God bless you and franks' soul.

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