Understanding

by Lesley on April 1, 2012 · 3 comments

in cancer

Daffodils are back at Trader Joe’s.

Nothing says spring like daffodils, especially when they are only $1.50.

I bought some for all of our neighbors, then packed Anna up in her stroller for our afternoon deliveries.

Shirley lives across the street and she brought us flowers last fall when she learned about Jonathan’s diagnosis, and she also cooked us soup on that one horrible weekend when I had the stomach flu and Jonathan had just finished his first chemo treatment.

Shirley has lived on our street since the homes were built in the late 1940s, and she’s shown me lots of pictures of the family who used to own our home. They were friends, their two families. She has seen cancer before. It has been in this home before we arrived. It has been in her home too.

I don’t like to think about how cancer ended their friendship just months before we moved in. Instead, I like thinking about all the memories created on this street over the 60 years these families did life together. I like to think about how she walked to the park with her young children, just as I do now with Anna. I like to think about her Meyer lemon tree when it was just a tiny shrub, long before it began producing the bounty of yellow treasures it does today.

She sent me home with some of those lemons today. Yellow blooms in exchange for yellow fruit. We may not be the best of friends, but we share something that few people do. Understanding.

Image credit to artist anthony ulinski

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3 comments
Ashlee
Ashlee

This post makes me want to get to know our neighbors better. I've done a terrible job of that during the five years we've lived here. Maybe I need to start doing some afternoon daffodil deliveries!

Amy
Amy

What a gift. I love the stories you tell about your neighbors. Those relationships are so special.

Sarah
Sarah

So beautiful