Thursday, March 30, 2017

Two Client Stories

Last Friday I walked to our little post office, picked up mail, and waited in line to send a package.  Waiting not an inconvenience in our small rural town.  We know our postwoman, and most in line ahead of us, if that ever happens.  A time to catch up on 'news' or better, gossip.
I noticed a personal envelope in my hand from a couple I've worked for almost 20 years.  It had to be an invitation, some sort of garden party.  They've always included me that way.
Instead, I read the typed/copied note, and had to pause, read it again.  Mr. Smith died unexpectedly, his memorial service is....
Note to self, Wait till you get home to read any future personal notes.

The Sunday porch:enclos*ure- Casa de la Guerra, Calf., 1936, via Library of Congress:
Pic, above, here.
A few hours later Beloved received a phone call.  Mr. Jones, a longtime friend of his, he had done a lot of work for Mr. Jones over the span of 3 decades, I met Mr. Jones 4 years ago, designing their new backyard/swimming pool, was murdered.  Worse, Mr. Jones's 31 year old son is in jail and charged in the murder.
Two widows in 2 beautiful homes, surrounded by beautiful gardens.  Children, grandchildren losing their father, grandfather.  Both men, bigger than life, literally pillars of their community, and so much more.
Beloved had a surprise blow-out birthday party Saturday.  He knew something was up, said he wanted everything called off.  No party.  For several hours early Saturday, Beloved was on the phone with various men friends, Beloved crying, and I heard everyone one of those men crying.  Too late for the party, that show was going to happen.  Several at the party were grieving their mutual friend.  Magic happened.  Their spirits lifted.  The party Beloved dreaded, became a salvation, for those grieving.  The large downtown church was standing room only yesterday.  Later, after the graveside service, we spoke with friends about how the Saturday party truly helped the grieving.
At the church service something said about Beloved's friend, was a beacon of lite about a seemingly insignificant fact.  Mr. Jones had 130 employees.  Every 2 weeks when their checks were cut, Mr. Jones always signed each check, never accepted the suggestion for rubber stamping them.  Mr. Jones was signing those checks in gratitude, and in prayer for each name on the checks.  Stewardship.
I could not go to my other client's memorial service, it was the day of Beloved's party.  Have sent his widow a note snail mail.  Will call her soon.  Tough call, but I wouldn't not call for anything.  Selfishly, wanting to know that beacon of lite about her incredible husband.
Have the same memory of both men, while working for them.  When they asked me questions, walking in their garden, their eyes would be piercing, and the left ear cocked, not wanting to miss a word.  More, they each did everything I designed.  They got that memo too.  Know the memo?  When you're outside your scope of talent, hire an expert, then, most importantly, do what they say.  I was in my 30's getting that memo.  Better late than never.
Oddly, got the memo about stewardship 5 years ago, really late in life, from the oddest source, my 8 heirloom chickens.  They had finally grown large enough in their garage pin with heat lamp, to put into their big girl Chinoiserie style coop in the garden.  Everything was fun-fun-isn't-life-grand until I closed the coop door and walked away the 1st time.  What had I done?  What if something happens to them?  I'm responsible for them.  This is awful.  A few hours later it sunk in, caring for my chics, and garden are a privilege, washing-of-the-servants-feet.  
Garden & Be Well,   XOT


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Sorry for the loss of these two men in you and your Beloved's lives dear Tara. My heart goes out to the widows especially, and their families.

Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

Penelope Bianchi said...

Oh I am so sorry about those friends. Terrible.

Stewardship: Can you look on my instagram? Just returned another one to under the mommy...I think she is a first time mommy!

La Contessa said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELOVED..................

Brenda Coffee said...

Dear Tara, This may be the most endearing post I've read in a long time! I loved all the details from standing in line to get your mail to Mr. Jones always signing every check. It was crafted with love. xoxox, Brenda

Dewena said...

I'm so sorry, Tara, for the heartbreak in both families and for that of their friends. It must have been a privilege to know them and a great loss in your heart now.

Jenny M said...

So hard to lose Good people that cross our paths. May you meet many more Good people on your life journey....cos they are the people that make us appreciate life.