The Story of the Jackhammer
There’s a shortage of good stories out there in the news. Are uplifting experiences at a record low these days? Let’s replace negativity with love! I heard a wonderful story that deserves to be told. It's a story about good-hearted people that really care for others. Sixty Minutes should tell the story. They won't but I will.
Eight years ago my daughter moved to a middle class neighborhood in southern California. She gave birth to her firstborn. Her navy officer husband abandoned her while overseas leaving her as a single mom with no family close by, no friendships. She had not yet found a church family. God answered our prayers; He provided the best neighbors.
Diversity in the Hood
The wonderful neighbors surrounded my daughter with offers to help with the new baby and dropped by with food and baby gifts. They listened and hugged her in her pain.
You might think the neighborhood rooted from a faith-based group. Anything but! The neighbors were as diversified as their homes. I attended a few parties and met the Japanese woman, the Hispanic family, the gay couples, the conservatives, the young couples with kids and the elderly white folk who lived there since the 1940's.
My daughter remarried, but continued to live on that same neighborhood street.
Awhile back, an interesting new neighbor moved next door. The Estonian senior, full of spunk and wit, turned out to be one of my daughter's closest friends over the past year. Their discussions cover everyday living and politics. Every morning the neighbor leaves her read copy of the Wall Street Journal on my daughter's door step. She takes out the garbage cans to the street when my daughter forgets and babysits when emergencies arise.
Most importantly, she tells my daughter that she is an outstanding mom.
I hear, too, that the two women occasionally greet the end of the day with a glass of wine and good conversation.
I met the Estonian last Thanksgiving. Everything about her impressed me and we enjoyed spirited conversation! The Estonian shared dreams of remodeling, tearing down some old structure and rebuilding her home. Her dreams materialized as the New Year began.
The continuous sound of the jackhammer blasted. The Estonian apologized just about every day worrying how the workmen’s noise affects a stay-at-home mom raising young children. My daughter overcame by spending more time with the kids in the park or at the library and joined every mom’s group available. While home, she shut the windows and blocked out the canyon breeze and ran the A/C instead.
She made it work.
At first, my daughter declined when the Estonian woman offered to babysit the children and send their parents out on the town to alleviate her guilt for disrupting the neighborhood.
Finally, they agreed.
I found it amusing to hear how that Estonian gal, her daughter and son-in-law arrived to spend the evening with my grandchildren. The wee ones enjoyed making homemade cookies with them and ordering pizza for dinner! The neighbor family sat on the floor at the kids’ level and read their books with them and watched their favorite TV shows before putting them to bed. What a sacrifice! Perhaps it was fun for them to spend an evening with little kids, too.
The Estonian family sent my daughter and her husband to The Lot, a theater experience inclusive with dinner, and orders to stay out as late as they want!
These neighbors restore my hope for America! Oh, that I can learn from this kind of sacrificial love and put my Christian principles in action.
What is your neighborhood like?