Late yesterday afternoon, there was a knock at our door. When I answered it, it was my neighbor, Preston carrying a huge bag of lemons freshly picked from their lemon tree. A beautiful boy that I have known for most of his life, he insisted that he bring the heavy bag of lemons into my house and put them where ever I needed them to go. His dad, Pete had picked them for us. They live two doors up and I did not even know that they had a lemon tree.
Being sick has its advantages. Every day, a kindness is bestowed upon our family. Every day, I learn something new about some one that I care about. Every day, I have the honor of spending time and/or visiting with someone special. Some may call just to "check-in", post a message for me on Face Book or converse with me on Twitter. Yesterday, my Aunt Kay stopped in with some groceries and we chatted for an hour. All in all, I am getting to know people like I never had the time to before.
The lemon delivery was a direct result of the "Circle of Love" that my wonderful friend Cathy Norcutt initiated and set up for me. Something she has done in the past, a couple of weeks ago, Cathy asked me for email addresses of friends and family who have offered to help us with incremental needs dependent upon what might be going on in our lives and/or how I am feeling. I was immediately drawn to the idea because while I appreciate all of the offers to help, if I need groceries (for instance) and I am too tired to shop myself, I am unlikely to pick up the phone and call anyone when the need arises. It is awkward for me...and frankly, it is exhausting. With a "Circle of Love" in place, I have one point of contact, Cathy. Cathy sends out a blanket email...and whoever has time to respond, responds. It is a beautiful thing and a big stress reliever for me. I am very grateful.
So, yesterday afternoon, when I saw Cathy while picking Madison up at school, I inquired about our friend Tara's lemon tree. (Cathy had brought me big, beautiful lemons from this tree before and I use lemons every day to dress my salads and in my smoothies.) Cathy thought that there may not be too many lemons left from Tara's tree....but sent an inquiry our through my Circle of Love. Preston showed up on our doorstep about an hour later. I was so taken aback that I did not know what to say. However, Preston's smile as he proudly handed over the bag was absolutely beautiful. The gesture warmed my heart.
Yesterday's series of events shed a positive light on my predicament. Yes, I am sick. Yes, we are scared. Pardon the pun but life has given us lemons....but with the care, kindness and compassion bestowed on us every day, we making lemonade.
Truth be told, Madison and I made old fashioned lemonade last night....even down to creating a simple syrup and squeezing the lemons ourselves using Dad White's old Tupperware juicer. AND the outcome is one of the best things I have tasted, EVER!
On another note, if you would like to visit the Helping Calendar that Cathy and I have set up and/or be a part of my "Circle of Love", please visit MyLifeLine.org.