The doorbell rang this afternoon. As there is an election underway in this province, I assumed the visit would be related to that. I was surprised to find a neighbour from 2 houses away standing there when I opened the door. I know her a little but not well.
This older lady (she's over 80) was collecting for a charity. I know she's had health problems and I had her come in and sit down. Right away though I found out that her concerns right now are with her husband and not herself. He is sick and while I didn't want to pry, it sounds serious.
As far as I know, neither member of this couple has the health problem for which she was collecting donations. Still, she was following through on the responsibility she had taken on and was helping out. The strain she was feeling showed and I don't think she would necessarily enjoy asking for donations anyways. The effort she was expending truly touched me.
I have benefitted from the giving nature of this couple before. When my son was in the hospital after his premature birth, the man drove me to the hospital at least one day. He was good with conversation, which made the ride a lot nicer, and it was so kind of him to drive me. I thought of that yesterday after hearing that he is ill.
Other people helped out then too with drives and emotional support. I needed a lot of both. People who offer such kindnesses don't get a lot of acclaim. Perhaps they should. They make the world better in their quiet, discreet ways.
I hope that this man feels all better soon and can tend his garden and go for more walks with his wife this summer. I hope that she feels relief from all the worry soon. And I hope that next year, she doesn't collect for that charity because she didn't seem to be having a lot of fun and she's probably done enough giving already. She gave to me yesterday by her generous example. I am so grateful for that and the other kindnesses I have received from this couple. And I'm very glad I opened the door when she came to call.