Yes, it turned out to be a very special day today..and I really wanted to share this story with you.,.
I woke up to a lovely surprise this morning when my 85 year old neighbor rang the doorbell..
Mrs. C is a very sweet, Polish lady that lost her husband many many years ago. She has 4 children, lots of grandchildren, she survived the war, migrated to Australia, she has seen and lived a lot and she has definitely worked harder than you or I could ever imagine. She is tiny but strong willed although very frail these days. She has been our neighbor for almost 10 years.
When I met Mrs. C I never thought she would teach me as many life lessons as she already has. And what's more special about that, is, that she is doing so without even realizing the affect she has on me.
The first time I met her, she had a smile on her face, her hair in a bun and with her "broken" English she asked who I am and where I am from. She knew a few Greek people and she loved my name.
"I could never pronounce it dear, she said "but it is so beautiful and strong". To this day, she still can't pronounce it properly but I have never cared.
Mrs. C lives on a pension, she has no other financial support or source of income but she is always the first person to knock on our door every Christmas and Easter to give us chocolates and a card for the children with some really lovely words speaking right into my heart.
So..so it happened that a few days ago as I was getting my letters out of the letterbox, I heard Mrs. C telling another neighbor that she needed to go to her eye doctor's appointment and she seemed a little worried.
Mrs. C obviously doesn't drive so I offered to drop her off at the doctor's and wait to pick her up after she was done with her visit.
For those of you who don't live in Australia, I note that a taxi ride from home to the doctor and back to her home would probably cost her around $50.
Mrs. C's children leave far from home so she doesn't really have a lot of support and her health issues are getting worse as they years go by.
"I will take you, I said. And we can even stop and have a cup of coffee on the way".
She smiled. Mrs. C was genuinely touched but didn't take me up on the offer.
"Oh no dear", she said. I could never ask you to do that for me. You have a very busy life and two small children. I have the whole day ahead of me and nothing else to do but go to this appointment", she said.
I felt so awful..I looked at her, dressed still in her night gown, with her walking stick, her hair pulled back showing off all her "wisdom lines" that she accumulated throughout the years and my eyes teared up.
I had this thought;
As a young woman, Mrs C. was busy working, she was a great wife and an amazing mother to her 4 children, she had friends, she was a great cool and loved looking after her garden. She had a very busy life. Just like all of us do today.
And now? Now, she was feeling alone and a little helpless..
I insisted and told her that I always have time to give her a hand and the doctor was on my way to work anyway so really it would be a pleasure to have her keep me company on my way to work.
After a lot of persuading, we agreed that if her son didn't come and take her to the doctor on the day, then she would let me know. I must confess, on the day of her appointment, I woke up early and peeked through her fence only to see her son's car in the driveway.
I waved hello and left them alone. She was happy. Today Mrs. C rang the doorbell ans dropped off some flowers from her garden.
"What's that for Mrs. C." I asked?
"My darling girl, she whispered as she leaned forward and grabbed my hand tight. "I am a stubborn old lady that has learnt not to depend too much on anybody..but sometimes..
Sometimes offering a smile and your time to someone means the world to them.
Sometimes offering to help is even better than the "doing" itself. God bless you and your family always. Thank you."
She gave me her beautiful flowers and before I had the chance to say anything, she turned around and walked back.
Can you believe it?
This incredibly wonderful lady, probably spent all afternoon picking these flowers just for me. I didn't even do anything for her in the end.. She didn't let me help her. But she felt the need to pick them for me. And that's just very special.
Mrs. C will never know how happy she made me feel today. She will never know that the flowers are sitting on my bed side table and will stay there for as long as rhetoric are alive. She will never read this. But the moral of the story for me today is this.
Be good to everyone. Be kind. Listen. Especially the older people. They could be your mother, auntie, grandmother or neighbor.
Life is too short. And they know that. They have lived most of theirs. And they know that too. Older people need us more than we could ever imagine. They might never say it but they do.
And you know what? We will get there one day -if we are lucky- and we would also love it if someone offered us a chat, a hug, a smile, a car ride or a cup of tea..
Let's all remember this. Just be kind and brave, that's all you ever need to be..
Thank you Mrs. C. for making me a better person.
Have a great day