Last week our neighbor of almost 30 years was found dead lying in bed. Anna was an excentric German lady with a heart of gold. Hers was the first home on Pine Ave., and she believed that the entire street belonged to her. She took ownership of every home and made every neighbor part of her family. She had an opinion for every neighbors' activity from the color of their homes to how to raise their children. Anna cared.
One of our most fun stories about Anna occurred as soon as we moved in. We would watch her from behind window blinds as she tiptoed across the street to place her trash into ours. It was only until she discovered that she paid for the garbage removal in her taxes, that she used her own front yard to set out her bags. Last week we found out that she was very well-to-do, but you would not know it from her frugal ways. She gave gifts freely, but only second hand items from yard sales. Anna picked up bread that stores were tossing out and distributed the baked goods to all the neighbors. Her home was one of the humblest abodes on the block. Anna will always be remembered, not for her money, but for her giving.
As I've grieved for the loss of a good neighbor, I think of Anna in her yard bent over, pulling weeds, arranging her gnomes, and trimming bushes. She lived every day with gusto. She was alive with activity! Every day was a gift she wanted to enjoy and she did!
This week my days have crawled by in very slow motion. I have looked at the clock often to find that time had taken tiny baby steps. I've spent my time wishing it were the weekend already, and then I think of Anna. I'm sure she would have loved to have had the gift of one more day. Why would I want to pass up these precious gifts? Could it be because I am not living my life as a gift? Could it be that I am not alive with loving others and thinking of others like Anna did?
The gift of a day is so often overlooked until our days our done. I think I'll take my gift of today and love someone. How about you?
Creator of the sun, moon and stars, You have given us the gifts of each day to work, rest, and even play. You have said that You want us to have abundant life, and yet we so often want to rush past the days where You patiently await our enjoyment of Your gift of today. We race toward the days ahead and forget the days present to us now. Forgive us for pushing away Your precious gift of today. Help us to find abundance in the work, rest, and play You give us. Thank You for waiting patiently for us to slow down and see what we are missing!