Grab a tissue, folks, because this is one of those stories that has almost too much love and goodness to bear in it.
Sara Verkuilen was working at Hair Cuttery in Round Lake Beach, Illinois last winter when an older couple walked in for a haircut. "I don't think I had ever done their hair before," Verkuilen told Welcometoterranova. "They were walk-ins."
The man and his wife were "just really cute together," she recalled. "He was so sweet with her and obviously very in love."
Little did Verkuilen know how much of an impression her personal service and professional skills would have on both them that day.
The stylist shared a letter she received recently from the husband, signed only as "a grateful customer." The letter reads:
This is a little bit awkward. But I've waited a really long time to pass this on to you.
My wife and I came in for haircuts shortly before Christmas of last year.
My wife was suffering from dementia, and you treated her as if you'd been working with dementia patients all your life. You let us sit next to each other, and when it came time for her cut you turned her chair towards me so I could watch her expression as you cut her hair.
It turned out even better than I thought it would.
Sadly, she died in March. And that haircut was one of the last, best moments of her life. She felt so pretty. She visited the mirror in her bathroom several times during the day and would come out beaming.
To see her so happy was priceless.
Looking back, it was likely dozens of haircuts you gave that day. But one which revitalized a woman's sense of self and her singular beauty. I hope you always realize the power of your profession.
It's so easy to take things like that for granted.
A grateful customer"
Verkuilen said she wishes she could contact the man. She doesn't remember the couple's name and the letter didn't give any personal information, but it meant a great deal to her to receive it. She says she'd been feeling kind of stuck and bored in her career, which she's been in about eight years, and this letter gave her the boost she needed.
"Receiving this letter was a huge reminder why I do what I do," she said. "It's an amazing feeling seeing someone look in the mirror after a transformation and smiling. Seeing how beautiful they feel, how confidence levels change. But it's an extremely difficult career. I get burnt out easily. I hope this letter can restore faith in other stylists that are maybe doubting if this career is right for them. We touch more than hair and I hope all the stylists out there realize how important they are and how what we do can have such an impact on our clients."
She also hopes seeing the letter helps clients understand that stylists don't "just cut hair."
What a beautiful reminder to appreciate people who work in service jobs, the little things that make us happy, the "singular beauty" of our loved ones, and the time we have with them.
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