I spent my day today getting ready for my writing class, finishing up edits on my assignment, writing my notes for my critiques of the other ladies in my class, and doing some much overdue housework. Plus, it was my turn to have my essay read tonight, and I submitted my re-worked “August 24,” so I was deep in grief and thought all day.
I had it all planned out. I needed to leave at 3. I got in the shower at 1:30, then needed to finish up all of the writing, mostly just get it all printed out, but, there never seems to be enough time in the day, and I felt that I was running a little behind.
I got out of the shower, and, not knowing yet what I was going to wear, stuck my sweats and my Race for the Cure t-shirt on. I didn’t have make-up on yet and my hair was soaking wet.
I heard a knock on the door.
I never get visitors. Pretty much the only people that ever come to my door are either my family, on an announced visit, or the pizza man. So, I was a little curious as to who could be there, and also very relieved that whoever it was was coming after my chores were done (if my mom had come in before, I think she would have been thinking, but too polite to say, “Who raised you?!”).
I answer the door.
It’s a man with an old-school David Beckham soccer player haircut, where it’s shaved on the sides and has a long ponytail. He asks if I am the woman of the house (in my condition I probably looked like I was about 14 years old). He asks me if I have any work that he can do around the house, he lost his son, his baby (and his voice breaks), and needs money for the funeral. He tells me a specific amount that he needs, and how much he’s gotten so far, from people in the neighborhood, that he feels so blessed by the way they have come alongside and helped him out.
I wonder if I’m the biggest sucker in the world. I tell him to hold on. I went inside, prayed a quick prayer of “Ok, should I do this? Is this safe? Am I a sucker?” But, my internal “creep detector” is pretty good, and it wasn’t going off. Plus, Arthur didn’t freak out at the door, and he always freaks out. I felt that the answer to my hasty prayer was, “This is one of the ‘least of these’.”
I gave him a little cash. I told him that I had no idea what it was like to lose a baby, but I had lost my husband unexpectedly two years ago, so I understood unexpected loss, and I was so sorry.
He was so grateful.
It has me thinking. Thinking about loss. It has me feeling so grateful for my own friends and family during my own time of loss. I’m so grateful that I didn’t have to go door to door and ask for help. I can’t even imagine. And yet, I’m moved by the way that the neighborhood has helped him, the way that you would have expected them to do fifty years ago, but not today.
So, I made it to my class on time, despite the interruption. I went about my day just like I would have, my world is still the same, even though his is forever changed.