Friday, October 05, 2007

The Value Small Things

Your comments and notes and calls mean the world to me in these difficult days. They remind me how much loving gestures can mean.

On Valentine's Day, I buy bundles of roses and give them to customers as they leave the salon. Last year I gave the leftovers to my parent's neighbors. When I told Mom and Dad of my plan, they contributed heart-shaped sugar cookies to the project. "Don't forget MO," Dad said. "Her husband died this winter." "And JK," Mom said. "No one ever comes to see her."

List in hand, I rang the doorbell at the first address. An elderly woman cracked open the door and peered out . "Hello, I'm Jerri, Chuck and Nora's girl." She opened the door a little wider. "They asked me to bring these to you and tell you happy Valentine's Day." The woman stepped from behind the door and cradled the roses in her arms like a newborn. "For me? Really?"

"Yes. We hope you enjoy them."

"Oh, thank you. Thank you. I haven't had a Valentine since my husband died. Seventeen years. It's so nice to be remembered." She was still standing in the doorway as I rounded the curve.

Some version of this scene played out at each stop.

When I got back to Mom and Dad's house, Dad was on the phone. "You're just as welcome as you can be. We kinda thought we'd share. Our days of that kind of thing are pretty much over."

Through the phone I recognized the voice of JK, a never-married woman somewhere in her early 60s. "Those days may be over for you," she said. "For some of us, they never were. This is my first Valentine. I'll never forget your kindness."

Two pink roses and a sugar cookie equal unforgettable kindness if you've never had a Valentine.

Kind words are balm for a soul caught in verbal battles.


kario said...

Love you. Sending love and light and virtual sugar cookies your way.

Nancy said...

Beautiful, beautiful reminder. Sometimes just a kind word is all it takes to pull someone back from the edge. I believe that angels are ordinary people doing God's work. You surely wore wings that day!

Stacy said...

Sh*t! You made me cry:)

Terry Whitaker said...

Just caught back up with you....and a series of wonderful posts.

Anonymous said...

I love this, and it is so true. On my office door at school, I have a card (it was actually Melanie's 1st birthday card) that says something like, " a little thought, a little consideration and a little kindness for others can make all of the difference." This reminds me of that, love it.

Deb said...

Girl, you can tell a story like no one else! I love this one especially. Keep borrowing our love and faith in you until you can find it yourself.