Cleaning. Sorting. Packing. Painting.
Preparing our 125 year old house to be listed for sale is a HUGE job.
Every room is filled to the brim with 17 years of paraphernalia and memories.
Every room is tinged with cobwebs, dust and dingy paint.
Every room has a very long “to do” list to get it ready for the first open house.
Fortunately, we have some amazingly fabulous friends.
They come nearly every day to help us with the
cleaning, sorting, packing and painting.
One guy, Dave, was here painting last Friday. He claims that he “loves” to paint. I think I believe him. He helped paint our two story entryway stairway, hallway, stairs, decorative banister, and trim. Our house is Victorian so that is no small task! He isn’t phased by cat hair or decades old dirt.
Last Friday he was re-painting the trim in out kitchen. Every once in a while he would take a phone call. He kept painting.
Once I saw him outside under a tree talking on his phone.
I was concerned that something was wrong, but didn’t want to pry.
A short while later he told me that his Mom was near death (several states away). I knew she was ill since we’d been praying for her for many months in our small book study group.
“I was just talking to my sister there,” he said. “They don’t think she is going to live through the day.”
I said something like “Oh, Dave — you should go.”
He replied that there was nothing he could do. If he left right that moment he would not get there before she died. (It is about a 10 hour trip one way). He said he would stay to finish the job.
I wasn’t sure what to say or do. I said I was sorry and told him again that he didn’t need to stay, that maybe he should go maybe be at home or with his wife or something.
He said again that there was nothing he could be doing about his Mom and that he would rather just stay to finish the job he was doing.
My 82 year old mom has been staying with us for the last couple of weeks. She came to see several family concerts and events (my daughter’s 8th grade graduation, for one!). She stayed because we need her help right now, desperately!
I’ve written a couple of blog posts about my mom, in fact: https://haskerj.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/norma-says/ and https://haskerj.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/norma-says-more/
Mom came around the corner and grabbed my hand and grabbed Dave’s hand and said, “Let’s pray.”
So we did. So she did.
I can’t remember all she said, but she prayed that Dave’s mom would let go and be at peace.
Mom is a crier. She cries for things that most people don’t think about at all. She is touched by joy, sorrow, holiness, kindness, life. I used to be embarrassed by her tears, but it turns out — I’m very much like her. Tears come easily for me, too.
But she didn’t cry this time. Her voice was emotional, sure. You could tell she was fighting the tears, but her words were calm and strong. Her faith is so strong that sometimes she amazes me. Often she amazes me.
We joke that she has a “direct line to God” — but I think it is true. She prays and things happen.
Not just once in a while.
ALL the time.
People call her to pray and she does. She drops everything to listen to their problems and then she prays with them — either in person or on the phone.
And she keeps praying.
One time I couldn’t find my car keys. I called her to pray (really in desperation). WHILE I was talking to her on the phone, I found them. No lie.
But I digress. Back to the kindness story….
After she prayed, all three of us hugged. I think Dave may have shed a tear or two. I may have as well.
Not long after, really just a few minutes later — Dave got another phone call.
His Mom was gone. She died shortly after the previous phone call.
In other words, she died while we were praying for her peaceful release from this life.
A moment of kindness.
Dave’s kindness and friendship.
Mom’s kindness and fearless prayers.
The kindness of a peaceful death after a long well lived life full of love, faith, and family.
This precious moment of kindness will stay in my heart forever.
Thanks be to God.