Back in the fall, our neighbor passed away.
I shared here that Grant delivered a card to express his sympathies
to Natalie, our neighbor's wife.
I was very proud of him.
Several weeks went by and one sunny afternoon in November
there was a knock at our front door.
Standing there was Natalie, Bill's widow,
whom I had only met in passing.
She asked if she had the correct house.
She was looking for a Grant Shupe.
We confirmed that Grant lived at this address.
Natalie then shared a very tearful and heartfelt moment
with Grant and the rest of the family
as we gathered around to hear her story.
Bill, her husband, had served in the Vietnam War.
He had suffered for many years
from the terrible effects of exposure to Agent Orange,
finally succumbing to its toll on his body.
Natalie told Grant how much his sympathy card had meant to her and her family
during their time of grieving.
She then shared with Grant two items she wanted him to have
as a way to remember her husband and our neighbor, Bill.
Natalie gave Grant a two dollar bill because her husband
had enjoyed sharing two dollar bills with people he encountered.
He would tell the recipient of the bill
they would never be broke as long as they kept the two dollars he gave them.
Natalie also gave Grant a Vietnam Memorial silver dollar coin.
Bill had collected them during his life,
and she wished to share a piece of Bill's personal collection with Grant.
Needless to say, we were all teary eyed by the time
Natalie finished her story about Bill.
Grant's thoughtfulness not only provided comfort
to a grieving family,
it also opened the door to a new friendship with our neighbors.
I'm ashamed to admit that after seventeen years living on the same street,
there are many neighbors I only know by name at best.
Given that our church emphasizes our need to
"love where you are"
(meaning we should model Christ's love to everyone we encounter in our lives),
this brings to light my need to do a better job
'loving where I am'.
Thanks, Grant, for teaching your mom
how to love those around us.