In an effort to teach my children to love those around them and be more charitable I decided to step up my own game. I really like the idea of having a service day each week where I concentrate on a few projects or on one big thing. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't depending on teaching classes, appointments, lesson plans and all the other things that creep up when you're a Stay-At-Home-working Mom with 2 jobs. I try to keep my ears open for ways I can serve and when it works out I get really excited. I LOVE it!
So I gathered some flowers and went to the first house...the one with the sister who'd just had a slight heart attack and is raising those grand kids. No answer at the door. But a couple dogs were barking like crazy. Then I thought, I wonder if she's laying down and didn't hear me? So I knocked some more (like that was necessary- anyone who could hear those dogs would know someone was at the door). Still no answer. Then I wondered, what if she's having issues and can't come to the door?' (I tend to play in my mind and can be somewhat paranoid). I tried peeking in a window to the side of the door to see if I could see anyone laying on the couch or some movement. Then I realized if a neighbor was watching they'd be calling the police about the "peeping tom". I left.
I went to the other sister's house. Her husband let me in. He seemed awkward about me coming to see her but let me in and quietly walked me to her bedroom. She was in bed facing away from me, hooked up to oxygen. He shook her gently and said, "Sister Browning is here do you want to say hi?" She let out a quiet mumbled "Hi." and went back to sleep. He was about to try again and I had this overwhelming feeling of guilt for waking her from her needed sleep, I felt I was imposing rather than being helpful. I just told him it's okay - to let her know when she woke up that I'd come to see her. I gave him the flowers to put in her room and I left...after I picked up the bowls from dinner I'd left with them the previous week. I got more out of that visit than she did. He did tell me that she's pretty out of it. She probably won't realize I had come, nor see the flowers that were supposed to brighten her day, at least not while they still looked good. They were already starting to droop.
I went to the car and realized the flowers I had for the first sister were already drooping as well - the ONLY draw back of a beautiful warm day. I knew I needed to get them to her so I drove across town again to see if she was home. Score! She was. I knocked on the door. The dogs started barking again. I opened the screen door and she opened the main door. A big dog about knocked me over and took off down the street. She yelled at him and he didn't even glance back, like he'd been waiting for this freedom- and someone clueless enough to hand it to him. I gave her the wilted flowers and said, "I'll go chase him down." She stopped me and said he wouldn't come to me because he doesn't know me and will just run further away. I apologized and let her know I'd heard she'd had some problems and wanted to come check on her. She said she was fine (her tired face betrayed that). She let me in but kept looking at the door. I knew she was worried about the dog. I asked if he would come back on his own? She said no, that she'd have to use meat to coax him home. I sheepishly offered to take the meat and get him. She said no. She'd have to go do it, but since I'd come to help maybe I could watch her grand kids while she did that.
I felt like such a heel. Great help I was! She didn't take long, thank heavens. I didn't want her out there breaking a sweat in her condition, on my account. I couldn't believe the inconvenience I'd created. Why did I open that door? I'd heard the dogs earlier. I did take that few minutes to look in the kitchen and bathroom to see what I could clean while she was gone. It was already clean. Her house looked great. So I played with her cute little grand kids. Probably got them all hyped up for her to take care of the rest of the day. Needless to say, my service for the day was of no help to anyone. I made a lady with a heart condition run down the street after her dog and woke up a sick lady. Wow. Hoping things go better next week.
Have any good (bad) service stories of your own? I'm probably alone on this one.