I don’t know about you, but my Nan always used to say that kindness was it’s own reward, when I was younger. I didn’t really understand what she meant, surely a fiver in my pocket was a better reward than a warm feeling in my chest? As I got older, I began to see what she meant. Today,was a clear reminder of her wise words, it’s just a shame she’s not around to say “I told you so.” Knowing my Nan though, she’d have shouted it at me gleefully (she didn’t have a volume button), shook her walking stick at me with abandon, before wandering off to go and socialise with the other pensioners at some Turkey and Tinsel affair (in October! I personally think that influx of seasonal cards and wrapping paper into the shops around August is just the shops yielding to the overwhelming pressure of the pensioners, determined to party as long as possible).
Anyway I digress, as usual. Our garden was in a state. Mr RR used to joke that there could be undiscovered tribes at the bottom of our garden, please note that didn’t spur him into action, gardening tools in hand, ready to do battle with the lawn and plants. Oh no, this prediction was lazily uttered from the depths of the sofa, often with a beer can in hand, sometimes not, with a hearty promise to do something about it next week. Or the week after, whichever. I made noises about contacting someone to do it for us, but he’d usher away my concerns with a wave of the hand, promising that he would do it soon. We were at a stalemate. Eventually, like water running over a rock, I managed to erode his reluctance to finding a gardener, and, keen not to let the grass grow any further under my feet, (read: before Mr RR could change his mind), I went to the local shop, having seen an advert for someone looking for odd jobs.
This lady came to our house a few times, she did a great job, didn’t faint with shock when she saw the state of the garden, didn’t even bat an eyelid (not like the cleaning lady who came and spent a large amount of time remonstrating with me about the state of the windows, the bathroom, you name it. It seemed to escape her attention that I was unable to do it (despite me reminding her of this) and that Mr RR was too busy being my own personal slave to do more than a cursory clean.) Anyway, she fitted the bill perfectly and we got along rather well. She was a lovely lady who seemed to be going through a totally undeserved tough time, my heart went out to her.
I had a pile of clothes on the spare bed which were destined for the charity shop, many with their tags still on but Mr RR had been too busy and I couldn’t lift them, so they had been there since last August. The last thing that I wanted to do was to offend her, but I had the inclination that some of them would fit her. I plucked up the courage to ask her today, and she was overjoyed just to be asked. We went through the clothes and by the end of it she had 2 new pairs of shoes, plus a whole new wardrobe and was overcome with emotion. (Now I know what you’re thinking, she wasn’t overcome with horror at my outdated choice of clothes. Honest.) We spent a good portion of time chatting before she started to work on the garden and I began to slowly move her from the acquaintance spot she’d occupied to the tentative friend box.
When she left, I felt pleased that I had been able to help her, and even brighten her day a little, just as I feel when I look at our garden which was previously an overgrown mess and is now bursting with colour and vibrancy due to her TLC. It reminded me of my Nan’s expression and I knew at that point exactly what she had meant….until this lady knocked on my door this evening, carrying two plants (which is where the photo above comes from, I took it this evening) as a token of her appreciation and a symbol of our budding friendship. Kindness really does have its own rewards.