Something interesting happened to me yesterday. We had a new student in our Pilates class last Friday. His name is Jeremy and he is a 33-year-old black man in training for some kind of martial arts thing. He had asked me about my broken finger and I took the opportunity to bitch about my broken finger, eczema and the fact that I ran over a freshly painted yellow line on the highway. I was unable to clean my truck of the yellow paint.
He told me that he would wash my car for $5.00. We decided next Wednesday after Pilates, he would wash my truck. “I’ll bring my stuff.’ He told me.
I got to the Pilates class yeserday and he didn’t show. I was so sad but at the end of our class, in he walked. I was elated and I know the other ladies in my class were happy to see him.
We made arrangements with Fitness Lifestyles to use their water and they loaned Jeremy a five-gallon bucket. He had brought a sponge and a bottle of cleaner.
He got started and I went back into the gym to pottie. I had my phone and a book but I had forgotten my reading glasses. I went out into the parking lot and sat on the book. I pulled up some music on Pandora – Steely Dan. I figured he wouldn’t mind a little soft jazz & blues.
We got to talking and I learned that he was a deeply religious person. While we talked he looked to the sky frequently and gave thanks. He was very sweet and quite ripped for such a little guy. During our conversation, he told me about his ambition in this martial arts thing. I found out he was originally from Chicago but had lived in New York City for the past eight years.
It took him over an hour to get most of the yellow paint off the truck. I commented on what a good worker he was and he told me, “if you are going to do something, do it the best you can.” He also told me that he was going to clean my car as if he were cleaning his own. He certainly did.
For those who don’t know me, I drive a 2003 Chevy S-10 pickup truck which my father left me when he passed away in 2006. I have been pretty hard on it. I have hauled dirt, compost, manure, rocks, weeds, and have loaned it twice to people who were moving. It has had regular oil changes and maintenance as needed. Just this year we had to put $1,000.00 into it. But I love my Daddy’s truck and was heartbroken when I discovered the yellow paint.
Jeremy put in over two hours washing my truck. He said he would come to my house and clean it too. “I’d knock that bitch out.” He told me and I sure believed him. What a fantastic worker. I had $36.00 in my change purse and I gave it to him. He jumped for joy and gave me a quick hug.
He said, “Today I can pay my way.”
When I got in the truck I found two more dollars and gave him those too. I almost invited him to lunch with me but didn’t think he’d want to. I was also afraid he would want to buy and I wanted him to keep the money.
I believe the truth of the matter was that Jeremiah is homeless and has been for some time. He has no family or friends. From the things he told me I also believe he has been institutionalized before. He is quite the fanatic. He is also a lovely human being, and I believe the powers that be brought him to me to wash my truck so he could pay his way that day.
I am forever grateful for all my blessings and yesterday, Jeremiah was my blessing.
Photo is my Daddy, Don Marshall VanHoose
Peace be with you.