The story of “Thank You”

The story of “Thank You”

A young man learns what’s most important in life from the guy next door.

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls,
career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across
the country in pursuit of his dreams.

There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about
the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working
on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The
funeral is Wednesday.” Memories flashed through his mind like an old
newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

“Jack, did you hear me?”

“Oh, sorry, Mom.. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of
him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were
doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the
fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.

“I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make
sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said

“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this
business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things
he thought were important….Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his
hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no
children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see
the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing
over into another dimension, a leap through space and time The house was
exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every
piece of furniture….Jack stopped suddenly.

“What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.

“The box is gone,” he said

“What box?” Mom asked.

“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must
have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was
“the thing I value most,'” Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered
it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had
taken it.

“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better
get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died Returning home from work
one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a
package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the
next three days,” the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and
looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was
difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. “Mr.
Harold Belser” it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open
the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands
shook as he read the note inside.

“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett.
It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the
letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully
unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the
cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

“Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most was…my time”

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared
his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.

“I need some time to spend with my son,” he said.

“Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!”

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments
that take our breath away,”

Think about this. You may not realize it, but it’s 100% true.

1. At least 2 people in this world love you so much they would die for you.

2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

3. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.

4. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

5. You mean the world to someone.

6. If not for you, someone may not be living.

7. You are special and unique.

8. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you
probably won’t get it, but if you trust God to do what’s best, and wait on
His time, sooner or later, you will get it or something better.

9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come
from it.

10. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you
most likely turned your back on the world.

11. Someone that you don’t even know exists loves you.

12. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude

13. Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much
better when they know and you’ll both be happy.

14. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they
are great.

Send this letter to all the people you care about, if you do so, you will
certainly brighten someone’s day and might change their perspective on
life…for the better.

To everyone I sent this to “Thanks for your time”.

Your friend,
Mark Hendricks


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37 Responses to The story of “Thank You”

  • Beautiful post, Mark! I loved the list at the end. Jillian

  • Robin says:

    Thank you Mark, for posting this and sending it out to all of us.

    We appreciate you, too!


  • L. Shields says:

    This was such a nice and inspiring post, touched me dearly.
    We all need to stop and put first things first.
    Living with a attitude of gratitude will help!

    Thanks for sharing
    L. Shields

  • Lain Ehmann says:

    Loved it! Gave me lots to think about. Thanks for YOUR time at NAMS, you made a difference for me!

  • Jim Zaccaria says:

    Wow, Mark! What a story to read on The Day I chose to claim as Gratitude Day to contact and Thank people who’ve made a difference in My life. Of course, YOU are among them. Thanks for Your Time & All you Share & Give. [Just so happens that today I needed to know some of those things you listed at the end of the story.]

  • Thank you for sharing this story and your thoughts.

  • Michele says:

    Over time I’ve read the same stories – this is the first time I’ve seen this one and it was inspiring.

    I believe synchronicity is always present at the perfect time – we see and recognize exactly what is important to see when we need to see it.

    Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to remember to reconnect with what’s most important!


  • Christine says:

    Beautiful… thanks so much… and just what I needed to read today.


  • Kimberley says:

    Thanks. Was just the story I needed to read today!

  • Evangeline says:


    Thanks so much for ‘Thank You’

  • Terry Schierer says:

    Thank You for the reminder of what’s important. Life is too short to ration your time with your loved ones.


  • John Stiles says:

    Thanks Mark!

    Awesome story and a reminder to just look around us and say thanks to the special people in our lives who give us their time, friendship and love!

    I’ll use a little space here to thank you Mark. Yep, you are one of those rare friends you meet in life. One who has been a great influence on me as well as a good friend.

    Thanks for being there.

    John Stiles

  • Many thanks for sharing that, Mark.

    You have also included my favourite quote:

    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away!

    I am passing this on to someone who fulfills 10/14 of your list & to whom I had previously quoted the above quote.

    Have a wonderful day
    Bless you

  • Thanks for sharing this with us. You just made my day that much better.

  • Jon says:

    Am enjoying your Ultimate Success Program and your various other offerings. Especially enjoy and appreciate your heart to help others.
    So, having said that,

    Thank you! for your time!!

  • Jackie Tulos says:

    Thank you Mark for sharing this with me. In our busy life we do tend to forget about the small things and always focus on the big problems. I plan on scheduling more time with my and family and friends so as to appreciate the time I have with them.

  • David Pace says:

    Thank you Mark. It’s just what I needed and just when I needed it. You are a true friend. Thank YOU for your time.

  • Paul Fletcher says:

    Man, that hit home. Ya know, the older a person gets the more we realize how important time really is.

    Thanks Mark

  • Shane says:

    That was a real tear jerker Mark. Thank you for posting this. For some reason, it reminds me of the old poem “Father Fargets” by W. Livingston Larned

    Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

    There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

    At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, ‘Goodbye, Daddy!’ and I frowned, and said in reply, ‘Hold your shoulders back!’

    Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive – and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

    Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. ‘What is it you want?’ I snapped.You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

    Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding – this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

    And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!

    It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: ‘He is nothing but a boy – a little boy!’

    I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

    – W. Livingston Larned

    Mark…Thank YOU for your time. I’ve been a part of your membership for over a year. And though I haven’t succeeded as I’d hoped just yet. It’s in no way a reflection of YOU. It’s totally my own doing…or not doing.



  • Mark
    Thanks for sharing. I have read this story before but this time it meant more. Good things, like gratitude are worth repeating.

  • Sylvia says:

    What a beautiful story. Thanks, for reminding me to read the email.

  • Anise Parker says:

    Thank you Mark, for this inspirational post, it brought tears to my eyes just reading and thinking how life is so short. We never know when our time is up. It is best to be remembered by the little things we do as we travel this path.

    I also want to thank Shane for his contribution “Father Fargets” by W. Livingston Larned. That is one I shall pass on to my son as well who has children on his own now.

    Thank you to both of you! Glad I took the time to read the email I received that sent me here today…

  • Val Spangler says:

    Thanks Mark,

    Had my own epiphany in the spirit of this story.
    While in the hospital with quadruple bypass heart surgery I had more than a little time to think about the important things in life – who you love and who you should thank – and how you should live your life to model that behavior.

    Heck Mark, I even love some conservatives.

    Thanks for how you conduct your business and all your sharing.


  • Kathy Mason says:

    I didn’t know that you’re sentimental! This is a valuable story for all of us. As the world gets more and more chaotic, relationships are the best way to ground each other in love and appreciation.
    I appreciate you!
    Best wishes,

  • Arthur says:

    It was an eye opener for me and for that I thank you Mark with all my heart and believe.
    Sincerely Yours,
    God bless you and Yours

  • Bob Clifford says:

    This left me with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Thanks for the follow up email to make sure I read it. Thanks for sharing with someone who appreciates your class act.
    Warm regards,

  • Tom Grimshaw says:

    G’day Mark,

    Great story! Thanks for reminding us.
    It fits hand in glove with what I have chosen as my signature block:

    Until next time, dream big dreams, read widely, think well of your fellow man, eat food that’s good for you and do the important things that make a difference – they are rarely the urgent ones!


  • Thanks Mark. Highly inspiring story.

    Dr. Odulana.

  • Criss Bertling says:

    Hi Mark,
    This is so lovely. I just wanted to thank YOU for YOUR time and heart so graciously invested in me and my life. You are a true blessing!

  • Riley Hathcock says:

    Right back at cha Mark. That one pretty much hit home with everyone I think. You’re beautiful people. -Riley

  • Doris Bailey says:

    Hello Mark,

    My mother passed over 2 years ago and many times I wish that I could talk to her and tell her what she means to me. Although I am sure she knew, it is always good to hear it.

    I will share this story. Thank you for your time.

    The story reminded of a quote I read in the local newspaper many years ago. I don’t know who the author is and the way I remember it may not be the exact quote. It compares time to money,here it is:-

    “Yesterday is a cancelled cheque; Tomorrow is a promissory note; Today is the only cash you have, so spend it wisely”.

    Thanks again and may God continue to bless you.

  • Elena says:


    Thank you for sharing a beautiful story, I love it. May God Bless Everyone.


  • Robert says:

    Thank you very much for sending me this for it came as a needed time in my life//// Robert and may God bless you

  • Nina says:

    Hi Mark;

    Thank you so much for this and your internet friendship over the years.

    Guilty, guilty, guilty. In the past I could have said this almost on a monthly basis, but because of circumstances beyond my control which happened about 10 years ago, I can honestly say I’m very seldom
    “guilty” anymore. Not perfect at it yet but trying hard to never forget to say “thank you.”

    So again “thank you” for this great story and the reminder.

  • Marie says:

    Mark – you are #7 – very special and unique. Thank you for always caring and sharing.

  • Fran Watson says:

    A little late in opening it, but I am glad I did. Thank you Mark for sharing this.

  • Hi Mark,

    Okay…I should have worn waterproof mascara before reading this…it really brought the waterworks. SMILE

    It reminds me of a story….sorry for the long post.
    A lesson to learn…

    I had been in sales for several years. My new job covered the entire United States. To gain new clients, I would call top buyers all over and start a conversation with them. After a few months, I was beginning to develop many powerful relationships. One of my favorite calls was to a buyer named Tom. He was in Texas. We talked almost every week.

    I had several people I was talking with in Texas and thought it would be good to fly out and meet all these voices I had relationships with. Tom was the one I was most looking forward to meeting because I felt we had an amazing connection.

    He was one of my first appointments and I knew this would be a great kickoff to a week long meeting marathon with over 20 people.

    When I finally got to meet Tom face to face I almost jumped up and down with excitement. Tom was as cold as ice. He was frozen. His face was as withdrawn and lifeless. It was awkward.

    We started the meeting and I began asking questions. I was receiving one word answers. With each answer I was becoming more and more uncomfortable. At one point I said, “You know Tom, if I came at a bad time, I can come back, I will be here all week and I can reschedule” He said, “That is okay. I am glad you are here”. His mechanical and robot response confused me even more.

    At this point I could feel myself start to sweat as if I was being interrogated. I thought to myself “How do I get out of here?” I wanted to run out there as fast as I could. Somehow I held it together and finished the way you would if you were eating an unpleasant meal at a favorite relatives. I was hoping that my half smiles, sweating and being uncomfortable wasn’t too obvious.

    Finally the meeting was over and Tom thanked me twice for being there. When I got to the car I started to replay the events in my head. “Had I met with the wrong person?” What in the world happened in there? Where do I go from here?

    Then I could hear one of my mentor’s words in my head. No matter what, look for the lesson and ALWAYS, no matter how bad the meeting is, write a thank you card. I started to think about what I had learned.

    Come to think about it. I had just gotten into a plane and flown in to meet a top buyer and didn’t even have an agenda. I thought about how the meeting might have went if I had asked those questions before I got there and then had an agenda. In fact, I thought about all my appointments and how much of a difference I could make with that simple strategy.

    I wrote my thank card and it went something like this:


    Thank you for one of the best meetings ever. You gave me such a powerful lesson today. I realized I could have really made an impact by having an agenda and sending my questions to you prior to the meeting. I want to let you know what an amazing difference you have made in my career with just that lesson. Each time we talk on the phone I seem to gain another valuable piece of information. Thank you so much for giving me so much. I am excited about working with you now and in the years to come.

    Respectfully yours.

    In all honesty, when I sent the card, I wasn’t really sure what would happen. I had put a follow up call in my schedule for 3 weeks from the meeting.

    2 weeks later, I was sitting in my office and my phone rang. It was Tom. He seemed more like himself. I immediately said, “Tom! What a great surprise.”

    He said, “You know, I have been wanting to call you for the past two weeks to apologize. The appointment we set was the highlight of my week. Before you came, I was really looking forward to meeting you. When you showed up I had no idea that you would have eyes that look just like my son. You see, 3 months before you came here, my son committed suicide. It was all I could do to keep it together during our meeting. You remind me so much of him and just having you there gave me joy. I was so close to bursting into tears. When you left, I figured you would never want to speak to me again. Then, your thank you card arrived. I have read your card over and over again. The days that are particularly hard, I read it a few times. It has brought me such hope. Thank you.

    As you can imagine, I was speechless. I could not speak through my tears. This experience taught me something so powerful that I will never forget:

    You never know what is happening for another person or what they are going through.

    Sometimes we get in such a hurry to make things happen, we forget to take the time to enjoy the process. Had I rushed through this or blown this appointment off, I may have missed out on making a difference in my life and Tom’s life.

    Always look for the lesson in everything you do. Take time to enjoy the process.

    By the way….

    * The story is a true story.
    * It happened to me……Sabrina Gibson

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