I met Pat this morning as she was shoveling her sidewalk. We got about 18″ of very wet and heavy snow yesterday and she was starting from scratch. I approached her and offered my husband’s snowblowing help while I went back home and had a cup of hot cocoa. (I’m good like that.) She thanked me and declined, saying there was a snowblower in their garage AND her husband has a plow on his truck. I chuckled and asked “Oh, you must be doing this for the exercise then?” She explained how her husband was so busy helping everyone else yesterday, well until 8pm, that she wanted to surprise him today when he returned from another plowing job. He “wouldn’t let me lift a finger during the blizzard” and this was her way of thanking him and preventing him from doing more work. “You see,” she said, eyes tearing up, “he’s already had one heart attack and even though he’s 80, he just can’t help himself from doing more.” Some of the people he helped were his own kids, stuck in the drifts and trying to get to work. She asked me if I had children so I told her about Arlo and my pregnancy. Congratulating me, she told me she had grandchildren from 24 to 7 and that her daughter had “late babies” one at 40 and one at 43. I shared that I was 42 and surprised, she squeezed my shoulders and with a big, teary smile she said “When they come that late, they become your whole world.” I thought this was a woman who knew a thing or two about love so I agreed, “They certainly do, they certainly do.”
I hope Pat shoveled as much as she could without overdoing it. I’m sure her husband was delighted upon his return and not just from the clean sidewalk, but from the comfort and peace that comes from such a loving home.