A few months, after we moved into this house, there was a knock on my door. I was a little bit grumbly about the idea of an unexpected visitor and thought to myself, “Don’t people read that “NO SOLICITORS” sign left by the previous tenants?” I opened the front door to find this slight, elderly lady standing there with a handful of pamphlets in her hand.
Have I ever mentioned I’m a sucker for the elderly? Especially the ones like the lady on my doorstep. Hair that looked like it was fashioned under one of those big ol’ stationary hair dryers, bright coral lipstick, smart polyster suit, modest costume jewelry and, my most favorite feature, perfume. I love the perfume. My late grandmother used to wear an Avon brand perfume called Chantilly Lace and when I encounter this scent I’m time warped back to my childhood and the warmth and happiness that my grandmother provided.
The woman introduced herself to me as Marie. She wanted to share with me “some writing that I thought you’d enjoy”. Marie is a Jehovah’s Witness. I don’t really know a whole lot about her religion. I’ve heard bits and pieces of information over the years. Most striking would be that they don’t celebrate any holidays. I think I’m right with that knowledge? I don’t care. You may have been able to figure out by now that I’m undecided on the idea of religion. I haven’t sorted it all out yet, but do choose the religion of loving and respecting others, so I think I’m on some sort of good path.
I took the papers from Marie, thanked her, then we said our goodbyes. Marie continued to drop by every few weeks or so. She has seen me through the kids being babies, through some frazzled morning, through first days of school, and many other days in the life that not many people are privy to. The days of same old same old. Marie never judged me, never gave unwanted advice. She always had a sense of understanding on the rough days and genuine happiness for me on the good ones. I always looked forward to a visit from Marie. That brief interaction from a kind person, doing what makes them happy, would make my days a little brighter.
A few months ago there was a knock on my door. I was expecting to see Marie, but in her stead was a woman who often accompanied her. She told me that Marie wasn’t feeling well, but she knew I would enjoy the reading material she had for me. On the pamphlets was a Post It note from Marie. More of her kind words. I stuck that note onto the cabinet in the kitchen. A reminder to think of her throughout the day. As time passed there were more notes, but no Marie. Her friend would tell me she just wasn’t up to getting out of the house, just yet. I would read her notes as I cooked dinner, made lunches. I missed Marie.
Today I was folding laundry, making snacks for the kids, catching up on work email when I heard a rattling on my screen door and a voice, “Jennifer?!? Are you home? It’s Marie!!!” I ran to the door to see my old friend. I couldn’t believe she was there. I opened the door and we gave each other a good hug. She told me that she’s still dealing with high blood pressure issues, but she is happy to be out and about again. We did some catch up. She told me about her health issues and I told her about the kids. She asked “how’s that husband of yours?” Which mad me laugh. It was good to see her.
If you could say a prayer, send some healthy thoughts, and think of Marie I would appreciate it. She’s still have a hard time getting her blood pressure normalized and told me of a dream surgery she would like to have done but they only do it in England right now. For now, she has to rely on medicine and hope that she doesn’t have a stroke. I’m glad that Marie is able to come visit in person and I’m gong to keep her Post It notes up so that I can remember her every day.