In May 2010, we purchased a house, located directly behind a trio of apartment buildings. I remember our real estate agent’s hesitation about this house, wondering whether we wanted to live behind these apartments. I thought nothing of it since this is known as a quiet neighbourhood and good area near downtown.
Through the summer, we saw a woman sunbathing behind one of the buildings. Then one day, my husband told me that she was next to our shed. It didn’t bother me. I did however, have one concern: there was a hornet’s nest in the shed and until we removed the nest, I wanted her to be aware of their presence. So we told her.
Fast forward a few months. It is now Christmas Eve. As I sat here earlier, trying to catch up on email that started to pile up, I heard the snow crunch under footsteps on our front porch. I peeked out the office window and saw someone I didn’t recognize putting something in the mailbox. Still in my pyjamas, and hole-y knitted slippers on my feet (they are too comfortable to throw away… yes even with the small holes on the bottom), and snow on the porch, I asked hubby to retrieve whatever was in the mailbox. By now, the woman was gone. I had no idea who she was until I looked at the tiny envelope. It read:
To one neighbour to another: Merry Christmas.
I smiled, yet frowned. Who is this? Inside, there was a lovely note. The cover read: Christmas is a time to give thanks.
Inside, she wrote these kind words:
I’m the senior lady who sometimes made use of the edge or your lawn. A grassy spot to place my lawn chair to catch the rays of sunshine – rather than seated on the concrete area of the apt bldg parking lot behind your house.
Anyways, I have re-located this Dec to another apt downtown with elevator and in the process of moving, I wanted to let you know that I appreciated your kindness. Blessings this season and in the New Year.
Former neighbour behind you on Main Street. N.
Well N, I wish I had gone out there to say hello. You’re more than welcome. I had no idea who was on the steps when I peeked out the window but now I do. Perhaps you have access to the internet, and who knows, you might read this. If you do, I say best wishes to you and yours this Christmas Season, and I pray that you find another comfortable spot to sunbathe next summer. And may you also find the kindness you’ve just shown in this lovely note.
To everyone who’s reading this: May your Christmas be a blessed one, and may 2012 be filled with God’s many wonders. May you also experience the kindness of a stranger or a neighbour. Just remember to pay it forward.