She's new to the neighborhood....just moved in a few days ago.
She doesn't know the area at all, because she hasn't been out to explore much.
I stumbled upon her when I walked by the truck she was sitting in and heard someone crying. Remembering what it was like to live in a new neighborhood and not know a soul around you, I decided I'd better check to see if she needed anything.
There were two women in the truck. One of them was crying and talking on the phone, so I walked around and introduced myself to the other.
The scene that followed can only be described as tragic...emotional...heartbreaking. As it turned out, they had been sitting in the truck for several hours, because they didn't want to go inside. There were 3 small children on the other side of that door (with a grandmother), and they didn't know how to tell them their fathers had been killed in a car accident the night before. So they stayed in this truck, holding each other, while coping with the reality of suddenly becoming widowed.
One woman was my new neighbor, and the other was a friend who had traveled from out of state to assist with the move.
And then there was me.
I called another neighbor who is married to a Pastor.
We all stayed there for about 3 hours...praying, holding them, crying with them. The women were trying to make phone calls, and additional support was at least 6 - 8 hours away.
It was getting very hot, and they were getting very weak. Dehydration, exhaustion, and emotionally depleted, everyone knew why they weren't going inside...but we had to move out of the heat before one or both of them fell to heat exhaustion.
Still unsure of how to proceed, the grandmother ushered the children upstairs so they could move into a downstairs bedroom. After a short time, they wanted to hold their children -- and the children were upstairs calling for them...
It was time.
The children came, and huddled on the bed. Composed, strong, and unwavering, each mother took her child into their arms and told them the truth. Two 5 year old girls and a 2 year old boy.
"Daddy isn't ever coming home."
I simply cannot find words to describe those moments.
We left them curled together in that bed, holding their children, and weeping without answers to their questions.
Tons of people were on the way, including both sets of grieving parents.
Most of the furniture remained in storage, limited food filled the pantry, dishes and such were still packed. After evaluating the big picture, my neighbor and I enlisted the help of other neighbors.
If there is any light that could possibly come out of this darkness, it's what happened next:
An outpouring of groceries began showing up. Plastic plates, napkins, and the like. Freezer ready meals. Air mattresses. Toys for the children. Offers for guest bedrooms, and bathrooms for showers.
God met us there...in the pit of sorrow while strangers held fragile, broken hearts, and a painful reality unveiled itself. He showed up.
This is a story about my new friend.
And I realize it has nothing to do with diabetes or celiac.
But it has everything to do with friendship and humanity.
In the end, that is what unites us all.
1 Timothy 5:3 (New Living Translation) 3 Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her.