Approximately a month after we moved and got settled we had our first new neighbour. Lidia, her husband Jack and their three year old son Johnny moved into their newly built house. They were friendly but kept to themselves most of the time. Although the family was not much on visiting I did cut Lidia and Johnny’s hair. My kids were too old to regularly play with Johnny but would let him in on their games when he was outside.
It was on one of the many days when I had to make a trip to the doctor’s, that I was stopped by a very strong urge to go back into the house and write a poem. The deep seeded urge was almost magnetic, almost as if, I was drawn by a power other than my own. This would not be just any poem but a very specific piece, one that would burn itself into my heart and mind for the rest of my life. I was almost in the car when this feeling overwhelmed me. I went back into the house and started writing. What was strange about this particular poem was while composing it I made no mistakes. Can you imagine not even making one error? I walked out my front door and across Lidia’s front yard, I knocked on her front door, and as she answered, I found myself apologizing for being in such a hurry. I handed her the folded paper the poem was on and I left. I was running late.
I had not given the morning events much thought until I arrived home. Lidia was sitting on my front step and she was crying. I noticed the piece of paper in her hands. I was confused when I realized my poem might have offended her. “Lidia, I am so sorry. Did my poem upset you?” No longer just softly crying, she started to sob. Now I was extremely and painfully upset. “I didn’t mean to make you cry, what did I do?”
“You didn’t do anything wrong, Chris I promise you.”
“Then why are you crying?” I asked my voice softening.
“Chris today is the first anniversary of Jack’s death.”
Oh my, I had not remembered it had been a year since Jack had the horrific and tragic accident that took his life. While he was on his way home from work he had been listening to his car radio and had not heard the train whistle that was warning him to stop as he tried to cross the tracks. He was killed instantly. Lidia continued, “I was slumped in a tearful heap at the kitchen table this morning, dark and depressing thoughts fueled by uncontrollable pain was squeezing my heart, mind and soul had overpowered me. I was seriously contemplating if I was any use to Johnny or myself without Jack. I had just gotten off the phone with my mother, who thought I should just shake off my dreadful mood. I was in prayer, talking to God. I was asking Him why no one understood how I was feeling when you came to the door,”
“I am so sorry Lidia, so very sorry.“ As I hugged her I could feel her pain. “I am so sorry I hurt you with my words.”
I sat here just a crying,
Listening to our favourite country song,
I still feel the haunting pain
Of a love we’d known so long.
I can close my eyes and see you,
I can touch you where you stand,
As my eyes do open slowly,
I feel your warmth still on my hand,
I don’t know why God chose you,
To sweep you away, my love,
But I’ll bet my bottom dollar
You’ll protect me from above.
With so many precious memories,
Special moments I’ve spent with you,
I really feel deep in my heart,
You’ll help me do what I must do.
The pain inside may lessen,
But I won’t let it go away,
Because our love was special,
I want the memories to stay.
“Oh no! You don’t understand. I am crying because through your poem, God spoke to me and He let me know He understands.” She held my hand tightly as she spoke. “Every word you wrote, were my thoughts and I knew you could not know such intimate things about us, so it had to come from God.” She was now whispering, “Thank you for believing and being an instrument of the Lord’s words. I know now that I have the strength to go on and be a good mother and for that, I will always love you.” We now cried together and I knew the words on that paper were not from me but were through me. I felt blessed.
It was not long before Lidia and Johnny moved to another part of the city. I heard she was remarried to a wonderful young man from her church. I never saw her again.