Monday, May 24, 2010

Paying it Forward

B. Miller who is having a Pay it Forward contest this week, has inspired me to write about paying it forward all this week.  I told you about the woman whose electric bill I paid, but I like to think I've other things to pay it forward in life. 

Today I'm going to talk about my neighbors, Joe and Joanne.  They are an elderly couple we've had the privilege of living next door to for 14 years now.  In the beginning, Rusty and I both were busy full time workers, he for the county, me eleven  hours a day at home daycare.

If Joe would go out to mow the lawn, and he would see that we hadn't got to ours yet, he'd come mow it for us.  If he was out before us on garbage day, he would take our garbage and recycling cans out and bring them in after they'd been emptied.  They also watch our house while we vacation, brought in packages, and would share from their garden.

A few years ago, Joe had a stroke, and they're just getting on in age and not able to do some of the things they once did with ease.  So things have been reversed.
We used to mow their lawn, but now our other neighbor Max does it.  But Rusty now takes out their garbage cans, rototills their garden for them every year, we now share from our garden because it's larger and more fruitful, and we help out whenever with whatever we can.

And why this all seems like paying it back rather than forward, I think people seeing us do these things is also paying it forward.

Like last weekend we trimmed up some overgrown hedges of theirs.  It was a big job, lots of trimming, raking, to do.  We had a woman running for our legislature come by and we talked for awhile.  She, as well as others in our neighborhood were witness to what we were doing for Joe and Joanne, and I don't want accolades for it, that's not what it's about, but I think maybe others seeing us do that is an inspiration to pay things in life forward.

Because I think it was obvious that though the work was hard, it was gratifying for us to help out.

Try to pay someone forward or back this week.  You'll be a better person for it.


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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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