Friday, April 20, 2018

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS

First, let me say that we are blessed with exceptional neighbors, there when you need help, always willing and able.  When my husband was recovering from back surgery, one neighbor, for instance, came and walked our little dog once a day Monday through Friday for weeks because he knew that the dog was used to having walks with Frank.  Now that would be a nice thing to do especially by someone who was a dog person but, come to find out, he wasn't, he was a cat person.  So I guess I'd have to say we've experienced a lot of acts of kindness since we moved here 10 years ago.  That said, I suppose this isn't the best title for tonight's blog.

For the most part, I think random acts of kindness describe a one time act, unexpected, unsolicited, and one that's a surprise to the recipient. One of our outstanding acts of kindness came last year when my husband had back surgery.  I was facing life without Frank's help.  You see Frank does so much around the house from vacuuming to what he does to help me with cleaning to garbage duty to taking the dog out for a walk 3 times a day to...  The list is so long that I dreaded being the one to handle it all.  Cooking I could handle but additionally, there was helping Frank himself.  His sister came & that was a welcome assist but she couldn't do the personal cares, things like helping him wash and get dressed, etc.

Something I dreaded was shoveling our enormous driveway and I mean shoveling.  I've never used a snow blower and although my sister-in-law was more than willing, I wouldn't let her.   After the first real snowfall, I managed to shovel a path on the deck and out to the backyard for the dog, but that was all I could handle. And then it happened...the family across the street, Dad, sometimes Mom and one or two of their long list of kids were over here first thing in the morning shoveling our driveway! And if the snow continued they came again and if was necessary, again.

That continued through the entire Winter season with one exception.  Dad felt it necessary to stop by one afternoon and let us know that they all were going on a week-long vacation and didn't want us to think they had neglected us.  Now that would have been exceptional kindness in and of itself, understanding my husband's limitations following back surgery, but we never expected that this Winter the family was back at it, shoveling our driveway every time it needed it.  So you see what I mean when I say KINDNESS, but this is kindness beyond simple kindness. To show our gratitude we always give the family some sort of gift card as they would never accept cash, but this year I wrote a poem to accompany it.

YOUR GESTURE
By Patty Lynn

There’s people all around the world, like us, they're in their 70's,
And all those folks, like us, have found that bodies have their enemies.
Yes, aches & pains are typical and weather plays its part,
But spines are their own problem, their failings at the heart…

Of so much that you want to do, the impact’s undeniable,
And shoveling snow’s impossible with a back that’s unreliable.
A privilege to own a home, we're thankful that we do,
But when it snows, our drive-way is too much for us, it's true!

Now I could say you’ve helped us out by clearing this expanse,
I'd even say that you're the best, whenever there’s a chance,
But that would never be enough to tell you what you've done,
This gesture’s made a difference, allowed us to outrun…

The move the two of us must face now sometime down the line,
The one that age will clearly show the one you knows not fine...
But, realistic, can’t be helped, that comes when we can't handle…
The upkeep, daily maintenance, when all of it's dismantled…

Because the two of us have found that all of it's too much.
We've reached an age (I hate to think) it's clear & must be judged...
That we're too old to do it all, we're forced to the alternative
Assisted living, senior care, we find it all perturbative…

For no one wants that kind of change, a move we two both dread.
We'd sooner stay right where we are, right in our little homestead.
I'm sure you know how much this means, postponing such a move,
And your kind gesture gives us time, believe me, we approve.

What you have done is so much more than shoveling the drive.
By your removing snow for us, you've cleared the way to thrive…
As happy owners of our home, postponing those concerns,
While from your selfless act for us, our neighbors all will learn.

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