Sunday, June 24, 2012

Little Things Mean A Lot

This is harder to do than it looks. 
I got up at 6 this morning.  I walked 2 miles.  Then I came home and prepared food for a neighborhood going-away party - a couple that has lived here since these townhomes were built (over 40 years ago) is moving closer to their daughters, several states away.  I don't know why it took me several hours to whip up some batches of hummus, lay out cheese and crackers, and cut up fruit; but it did.  Then we had the 2-hour party, which lasted 3-and-a-half hours.  I staggered home around 7 and collapsed on the couch.

Tell me, since when did I become this old person who can't have a busy day without feeling destroyed by it?  Add to that fact that I still have Brian's lovely illness, an illness whose symptoms increase the more tired I am, and I feel as though I have one foot in the grave already.

Have I mentioned how much I am going to miss my departing neighbors?  The woman is my buddy from this humiliating trip to Harris Teeter.  I refer to her as my personal trainer, because she would show up at my front door 2 or 3 times a day to invite me to walk a mile around the neighborhood.   I always accepted, because I can't let an 80-year-old woman best my not-even-50-yet self in the physical fitness department.

Sometimes?  I had trouble keeping up with her.

When Rachel was 6 weeks old (almost 10 years ago), Larry's father lay dying from a stroke.  Larry - naturally - hurried to his father's side, 12 hours away, leaving me with a 5-year-old, a 2 1/2 year-old, and a new baby (not to mention Theo and Anna).  People, this neighbor of mine made a point of stopping by every evening to help me.  She would either hold the baby while I bathed the little boys or else she would read to the little boys while I took care of the baby.  Only another mother can understand what a big difference that small bit of help made in my day.  She earned my undying gratitude from that point on.

Moral of this meandering blog post: It's the little things we do that matter.  Don't pass up a chance to do the little things.  Don't expect that someone else will think to do them.  You know, my neighbors really appreciated the party we gave them.  That mattered, too, much more than I had thought it would.

[Fruit bowl image: Taste of Home]

[Little things image: Sodahead]


  1. What a great lady to reach out to you in that way. Thanks for the reminder that little things do mean a lot. Oh, and I did NOTHING today and am still tired.

  2. Both times my husband was deployed it was the little things neighbors did to help that meant so much, just like you describe. That's where real life lies, not in the grand gestures and the big events.

  3. You are so completely and totally right. I'm inspired.

  4. Yes, every time I think I am going to quickly throw together something like a fruit salad - it takes me at least an hour - or longer! Glad I'm not the only one!

    Thank you for the reminder because it really is the little things that mean the most! I am going to try to keep my eyes open for some little things I can do today to help someone out.

  5. Great and inspiring post....thanks for sharing this.

    Also - illness can really take it out of ya. (As can emotional trauma, big or small...)

    Hope you get some lovely new neighbors...
    Lisa G, in CT

  6. Wow. That is one awesome neighbor. Are you going to be able to visit her after she moves?

  7. AnonymousJune 25, 2012

    Oh I'm so sorry she's leaving your 'hood. She sounds like a gift.

  8. AnonymousJune 25, 2012

    When the new people move in, just let them know how you expect neighbors to act. I'm sure they'll step up.

  9. I bet you are that kind of person, too, even with one foot in the illness grave. I hope I am that kind of person... I try to be one.

    Taking my Novocaine-swollen mouth camping for 5 days, with 5 males. Think of me....

  10. What a sweet gift she gave you. I totally understand how life-saving that must have been. I couldn't even get my own parents to help the first time my husband traveled for business after we had a baby.

  11. She sounds like an awesome neighbor. It makes me sad that these days we don't have friendly neighbors. Everyone is so anti-social now.