Two years ago I worked on a suicide hotline. I cannot go into any more details than that.
I was on the phone one night- around twilight- with a very very suicidal man- who not only had a gun in his hand and was clicking the chambers, but he was very very very drunk.
I spent a long time talking to him, and when the call was over I went out in the pitch black night, no stars, overcast clouds blocking them. I bummed a cigarette, and a lighter, sat down on a bench and cried.
Fast forward to present day. I got a phone call from my former supervisor, and made a commitment to start again on the hotline in the fall, after completing 35 hours of class work this summer. Then she said she got a letter from someone I talked to eons ago, and wanted to mail it to me.
The letter arrived Monday. It had beautiful penmanship, but poor spelling. It went in kind, "thank you for helping me save my life that night, and the few things you have taught me have saved me again when life got that bad. Fortunately, it never got that bad again. I am working now, joined a church and dating a lovely woman.
I wrote this poem for you. I hope you like it and again, thank you.
"There is a rose in the garden.
A Beauty with thorns adminst her leaves
If one desires to pick her
He must ask his hands to bleed"
You know, he says I saved his life, but he may have also saved mine.