Seeing an old neighbor from the subdivision


I ran into a fellow today who used to live in my subdivision.  Several years back he moved to a nearby town and I lost track of him. Then a year ago I read in my local newspaper the obituary of this man’s 44-year-old son.  Jennifer and I sent a card. Today the man told me he appreciated receiving it.  “Thank you, Don.  Thank you.”

One day probably 15 years ago while he was still living in the neighborhood, this fellow noticed me walking by his house one afternoon and flagged me down.  He asked me if I would help him move his son from his wheelchair which was sitting out in the front yard to his bed inside the house. The man had strained his back and needed a hand.  So together we lifted his son from the chair to the bed.

The man’s son was severely disabled.  He had never walked, and never spoken.  But the man and his wife cared for him and kept him at home his entire 44 years.

After our initial hello today, I immediately said, “I was so very sorry to read about your boy’s death.”

“Oh Thank you, Don,” he said.  “Thank you for saying that. But you know, Don, God took him home.”  He smiled and said, “Let me tell you, what an honor it was to take care of him.  Oh, what a joy and honor that was.  You know, Don, a lot of people learned about the joy of the Lord from watching that boy of mine.”  And then he repeated himself, “What a joy, what an honor to have taken care of him the years we had him.”

I said, “You sure did right by him all those years, showing him such great love. God bless you, brother.”

We talked a few more minutes before shaking hands again.  He said, “Say hi to your wife.  I appreciate you, Don.  You know I read all your religions columns in the Sunday paper.  You’re doing good work, Don.  Keep it up.”

“Thank you, my friend.  God bless you and your wife.”  I waved and and smiled and walked on.

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