Warm smiles lit up the overcast and chilly morning in Tilbury, Ont. last week as Beverley Perrin hand-delivered thank-you cards to truck drivers.
She gave a gentle tap on the door if a driver was seated in his cab. Most rolled down their windows as the sprightly senior from Chatham, Ont. explained what she was doing and accepted the offered card. Some wary drivers waved her off, and she moved to the next truck with a smile.
“I want to thank you for your hard work and the long hours you put in,” Perrin told each driver. “Here is a Christmas card, which is also a thank-you card from me. I appreciate what you do.”
If the curtains were drawn in the cab or a driver was not present, she stuck a card into the door handle.
Beverley, and her husband Richard Perrin started visiting service centers and a truck stop in Tilbury in April last year, handing out cards to drivers.
Richard suffered numerous major health issues earlier this year and was moved into hospice care last week. He told Beverley to continue delivering the cards and said that if he were well enough, he would be there with her.
“He has a few days left,” Beverley said, adding her faith is keeping her strong. “We have been married 52 years.”
So, after visiting him at the hospice early in the morning, she headed out to deliver scores of cards.
Richard Lekeuche was one of the drivers at the truck stop who received a card and was very thankful. “It sure made my day with a long-lasting smile on my face,” he said. “Unlike sudden events on the roadways, this is something a trucker does not anticipate and came as a most beautiful surprise.”
Sukhbir Grewal was engrossed in a video chat with his parents in India when Beverley knocked on his cab door. The driver from Winnipeg, Manitoba, who had a huge smile on his face after reading the card, stepped down from his truck and introduced her to his parents.
Driver Ming Li was helping another trucker slide his tandems when Beverley approached him. Surprise gave way to appreciation, as he offered to buy her a cup of coffee. She thanked him for his gesture and moved on. Collins Agyemange was happy to receive a card and surprised that someone would take the trouble to thank him.
After walking past all the parked trucks in the huge lot and handing out cards, Beverley went into the store greeting employees by name. A box kept for her cards, lay empty next to the coffee machine, and she refilled it. “I saw the box was empty so I knew you would be coming around,” the store manager said.
She gave cards to drivers as they entered the store, quick to share a cheery greeting and smile. Then it was time to leave.
“I told Richard I would be back after this,” Beverley said as she drove off to the hospice.
By Leo Barros