The other day I told my husband, “I want to be like Mrs. D.” She’s an exceptional woman.
Mrs. D is a widow we moved this week. She was at the house when we packed her up. She was present but out of the way of our busy-ness.
“I’m going to be right here if you have any questions, but I don’t want to interfere with your work.” Once or twice she came out to see if we needed anything.
“Can I get you anything for lunch?”
Mrs. D didn’t have much in the way of possessions. She was close with her daughters who’d said she’d already given most everything away in recent years after her husband passed. She isn’t suffering dementia or depression; she’s just a giver.
Occasionally we’d find an undesignated item. We’d ask if she wanted to keep it, sell it or give it away her daughters.
“Oh I don’t need that.” She’d say
The next day as we unpacked and set up her apartment, we found a velvet bag with beautiful gold bracelets. It had been in a closet cubby.
The apartment didn’t have cubbies, so we placed the valuables on her nightstand.
By 2:30 we were ready for Mrs. D to see her new home. All we had left was to hang pictures and we needed her for that.
When she came in, Mrs D lit up, “Oh it’s wonderful!” She couldn’t believe how much care we had put into the details. Everything was set up, plugged in and personally suited for her.
She grinned taking it all in.
When she saw the velvet bag on the nightstand, she looked puzzled, “What’s that?”
My manager picked it up and handed it to her. “We weren’t sure where you wanted this.”
“Oh, I know what this is, but…” She opened the bag. Out slid a handful of gold bangles. “I haven’t seen these in so long. I thought I must have given them away. “
She put a couple on, looked up and smiled. “I really do love these. I’m glad you found them.”
We finished and our crew left to help another one of our teams on different move. I stayed to hang Mrs. D’s art and pictures.
I commented on the two beautiful watercolors she had. They were exceptionally nice pieces.
“There’s a special story behind that one you’re holding.”
Her daughter had painted the smaller one and scrapped it. Mrs. D salvaged it, painting over it to make something different.
I was shocked. These were beautiful pieces. “Mrs. D! I didn’t know you’re an artist!”
I recalled her daughter say she couldn’t believe her mom and given away her water colors. I’d thought she’d collected them. After all, she’d said, “They’re just things. I don’t have space for them. I don’t need them anymore.”
You have to understand, most people we move really struggle letting go of belongings. Understandably so; our ‘things’ are an extension of us. They’re connected to times, places and people in our lives.
I asked Mrs. D if I could take a picture of her with her artwork to remember her by. “I can’t wait to show my husband. I told him about you yesterday.”
She looked at me, “Really, why?”
“Mrs. D, you’re an exceptional woman. You live well. You’ve invested in your daughters; they’re here for you. You don’t hold on to things. You’re Bible is worn and you keep it close. It was one of the last things to pack.”
Age couldn’t hide that she was a pretty woman. “You’re a sharp lady. Age agrees with you.
“Moving is stressful. but you’re not the least bit rattled. In fact, you’re graciously concerned for those around you.
“Thank you.” She lifted her chin in confidence, “I have all that I need because of Jesus.”
I smiled, picking up the last picture. “Yeh, that’s easy to see.”
“Okay Mrs. D. So where do we want this pretty little picture to go? I was thinking it would go nice over here.”
As we finished, I texted my manager; we were ready for the final walk thru.
“Mrs. D, Charlotte will be up in a minute to make sure everything is just the way you want it.”
She pulled out the bracelets and asked me to take a few. “They’re solid gold you know.”
Touched, I refused, “Mrs. D I couldn’t do that. I wouldn’t do that. You enjoy those.”
“But you don’t know how much this means to me. You have really cared for me and I want to give you something.”
I assured her she had given me more than the bracelets.
“What do you mean?”
“Mrs. D, we see a lot of people move. We know how difficult it is too let go.”
“You have displayed peace, kindness, gratefulness and contentment with a joyful heart. You aren’t showy, but Mrs. D –you know how to preach.”
“You’re an inspiration. I told my husband yesterday, ‘I want to be like Mrs. D.’. That is better than gold.”
She squeezed my hand and Charlotte arrived.
I gave her a quick hug and took off to the other floor thanking God for His presence in His people.
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers.” Luke 6:43-44
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law… Galatians 5:22-23
The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, They will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green, To declare that the Lord is upright; Psalm 92:10-15 (bold italics added)