The calla lilies in the kitchen sink are a gift from my across-the-street neighbor and his steady girlfriend. They came calling a few days after Daddy died, bearing the gift of this potted plant and their condolences.
Would you think less of me for confessing that I didn’t know people did this anymore? Where did these two learn this very old-fashioned courtesy of dropping their own everyday life and cares, to call on one who is grieving?
My neighbor is a young bachelor. Early thirties I suspect. A successful medical supply salesman with some type of formal medical background, I forgot what he once did to earn a living — perhaps he was a nurse or a medical technologist?
I helped him put in his front flower garden last autumn. Being a salesman, he sized me up good. He knew from watching me work next door at Cinderella’s, that I’m the do-gooder type, the sort who can’t resist a lawn and garden in distress.
Taking advantage of my weakness — some would say — my neighbor invited me over to a little garden party he was hosting. And during the digging and planting, I met his then “just-a-friend,” Christy. By Christmas, Christy was his girlfriend. And now they’re a couple, calling on a grieving neighbor with Calla Lilies.
Is the calling with Callas just one good turn begetting another? There was surely no obligation for kindness. And these days, so many are going-out-of-their-way with kindness. They say I’m in their prayers. But praying in the silence and praying with words is so very different from praying with actions, especially when the action calls for cozying up to uncomfortable situations like calling on the grieving.