It has been almost a year since I moved into my house. I know my neighbor felt some happiness and pain as she sold me her mother's house. Her mother had died. I am the new tenant.
She not only left me a clean, orderly house, she left extras. The mat in front of the front door. The lacy window curtains--waterproof-- over the window in the shower. The egg holder in the cleaned refrigerator. Just little things. But I felt so welcome to the new (to me) house.
Even then, she was fighting cancer. She didn't have much energy. But she left me a clean, welcoming house.
Now, in the fourth year of her battle, she is losing. Her husband has taken off six weeks to stay with her. She still gets up and out as she can to tend her garden, to welcome so many coming by to see her.
I see a lot from my screened front porch.
The other day, we had a break in the sometimes stormy weather, and he wheeled her out to the end of the block in her wheelchair.
They made it to the corner and turned back. When they reached my yard, her husband called, "Charlotte, shut your eyes!"
He stepped into my yard to cut a spray of blooming red roses, and scraped the thorns, then handed them to his wife, so tenderly.
I called out,"I won't hide my eyes. It is good for mature women to see romance."
And in a strong voice , his wife replied,"Yes, it is."
She lifted her roses to sniff.
And we all laughed, and he wheeled her home.
And my eyes stung.