Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Love Thy Neighbor

Today was the boys first day back to school, but as luck would have it Droid had to stay home with a stomach bug. 
While I was whittling my way through the mountain of laundry, which is once again mingled with my Little Princess’s toys from her room (I have to find a lock for the laundry shoot!)  I received a phone call from the school letting me know that poor little Oz was in the nurses office complaining of a headache and, what else, a stomach ache.

I jumped in the car and picked him up.

While driving home from the school I saw someone off in the distance standing in the road.  As I got closer they started waving a cane. 

I slowed down, and when I got close enough to see that she was an elderly lady, I rolled down my window and stopped. 

She was so old.  She had beautiful silver hair in two short braids.  She had a loose house dress on, and only a shawl around her shoulders, and it was 30 degrees outside.  “Can I help you?”  I asked.

She told me that she went out to get her mail, which she was still holding close to her, and she must have locked herself out of the house.

I asked her which house was hers.  She hesitated and started looking around. 

I then realized that was confused, and might not actually remember which house was hers.
I asked her if there was someone I could call for her, and she told me about her daughter working in a medical office, but it was too far away to call her.

Just then a neighbor lady came walking out of her house.  I asked her if she knew Grandma, or where she lived.  She said she didn’t, but saw her standing in the road and came out to see if she could help. 

The neighbor asked her which house was hers, and the sweet little Grandma said, “I don’t know, I don’t recognize her.” 

The neighbor didn’t seem at all surprised by her reply, and gently  put her arm around her shoulder and said, “It’s much too cold for you to be out here.  Come inside with me and we’ll get you warmed up, and we’ll call someone who can help you open your door.”

I told the neighbor “Thank you for helping.”  And slowly drove away as I watched the neighbor patiently walked beside the old lady, as she walked slowly and shuffled her feet toward her neighbor’s home, leaning heavily on the cane.  The neighbor kept her arm around her shoulders.

My heart was braking for this sweet old lady.  She looked a little like Laura Ingalls must have when she was an old lady.  I immediately thought of my Grandparents, and great Grandparents and the amazing lives they lived.  I wonder what this woman’s life was like.  I’m sure she had some amazing experiences and stories. 

And she’s probably forgotten most of it.   

My first instinct was to be terribly sad for her situation.  But something else struck me as I drove away.

The world is full of good people.

I was happily surprised to see this sweet neighbor come out too see if she could help, but not only that, the compassion in her voice and her manner was so touching. 

She is a modern day “Good Samaritan”.  And because of her, I know there are others out there who are also more than willing to lend a helping hand, and look out for their neighbors. 

Jesus told us to, “Love thy neighbor as thy self”.  I know that if everyone abided by that principle, the world would truly be a heaven on earth.

I’m so grateful for all those who love their neighborsthey make my heart dance.

1 comment:

  1. oh my, this lady had dementia..like my Mom. Mom got lost too and a good Samaritan picked her up and tried her best to help Mom find her house. After 3 hours she realized Mom wasn't clear and took her to the hospital. It was a very tense 3 hours for us, Mom never even remembered it. Now Mom is in a Eden Home that cares for her and keeps her safe. Thank God you and that neighbor were there at just that moment to get her into someplace warm. We must reach out to each other, especially in these times.