ROUND LAKE BEACH, Ill. — An Illinois hairstylist received an unexpected letter last month that reaffirmed the unknown impacts people can have on one another.
Sara Verkuilen was working at a Hair Cuttery salon in Round Lake Beach, Illinois, when an older couple walked into the shop in December.
Verkuilen didn’t recognize them and had never done their hair before, but she observed that the couple was “just really cute together.”
“He was so sweet with her and obviously very in love,” she told Upworthy.
For Verkuilen, it was a routine haircut. But for the man and his wife, it was so much more.
Verkuilen received a letter dated June 27 in which the man thanked her for her services and explained that it meant more than she could know to him and his wife, who had dementia.
“My wife was suffering from dementia, and you treated her as if you’d been working with dementia patients all your life,” the letter reads. “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.”
He continued: “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 one of 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.”
The anonymous letter was signed by “a grateful customer.”
Verkuilen, who posted the letter on social media, said she doesn’t know how to get in contact with the man, and she doesn’t know his name. The letter didn’t include any personal contact information.
“It’s crazy how something so routine in my life could have such a positive impact on someone else’s,” Verkuilen said.
She told Upworthy the letter inspired her at a time when she’s been feeling stuck in her career.
“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.”
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