Tell me, when will I stop doing that? How long will it take to get over a habit more than a decade in the making?
To an outsider, perhaps, she didn't seem too remarkable. A widow in her 80's, living in the house where she raised her children...ill for the past 2 years, to boot. Before that? An active senior citizen, busy with the local gardening club and her friends and her grandchildren...
But to me? She was the neighbor who took the time to talk to me all the years - those long, isolated, pre-blogging years - I was home with my babies. At the beginning, I'll confess, I'd manufacture a request - a cup of sugar, say - any excuse to knock on her door and make some human contact. I was that lonely. And she made herself available. I'll never know why. After all, she had her friends and her daughters and her grandchildren, all fixtures in her life before I came on the scene. She didn't need me.
|Thanks to my friend, I know this is a magnolia.|
Never underestimate small acts of generosity - particularly generosity of time, in a society where people pride themselves on being busy, busy, busy. Who has time to reach out to a pathetically lonely mom with no car, no real friends, and nowhere to go? This woman did. She knew it mattered.
|Useful parenting tool|
Never underestimate your personal store of knowledge and experience. Someone can use it.
We weren't expecting her to die just yet. I had planned to visit with her Easter morning, tell her all that had been happening over the past week. Maybe then I would have decided to thank her for all she'd done for me; or more likely, to save us both embarrassment, I would have written her a note, a little Easter present of thanks, to give her before it was too late.
[Magnolia tree: The Daily Muse]
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