The Daily Post – Weekly Writing Challenge: Honey vs Vinegar
For this week’s writing challenge, ponder the significance of kindness in your life. That may mean: Sharing the details of your last act of kindness, or when you wish you had been kinder when you weren’t.
We live next to a park that used to be train tracks. The park is a narrow stretch of grass with a bike path that runs from one end of town to the other.
Across the park there is a low white rancher. There was a little gray haired woman that lived in the house with her dog. Her windows sparkled, her grass was trim and we often saw her puttering around her yard, neatly dressed, old white terrier shuffling behind.
Once a week her son would visit. His pick up looked too big sitting in her immaculate driveway. She would meet him at the door with a fluttery hug. I imagined him fixing a dripping faucet or moving a heavy TV or taking down holiday decorations then staying for a meal.
I never saw anyone else visit.
As neighbors do, we became aware of her routine. We marveled at all the yard work she did. Her frail little body bending and reaching for errant sticks and weeds. I was always happy to see her and I felt a feeling close to relief every time we saw her son’s truck in the driveway.
We discussed walking across our narrow park and introducing ourselves. She was alone, we could be there for her. I planned on baking a pie or maybe bread and bringing it over. We discussed giving her our phone number in case she needed anything. She seemed so sweet and it was the right thing to do.
We meant to do that. We talked about it. We didn’t do it.
We were pulling up to our house when we saw it.
Her front window, right next to the front door, had been broken. It looked as if someone broke the window to reach in and open the door from the inside. The hole in the glass was patched up with card board and tape. Something had happened, but whatever it was – was over. There was no sign of our across-the-park friend or her faithful dog.
For days there was no movement, no change.
One day I saw her son’s truck, then it was gone.
Shortly after, the house sold and we watched as new neighbors took over her tidy home.
I still don’t know what happened.
I do know this:
We never brought her a pie, bread, or the reassurance that someone was there for her, right across the park.