First Baptist Church of Herndon

681 Elden St., Herndon, VA 20170-4722, Phone 703-437-3620

What a Gift

Linda Soller | Dec 13, 2021

When we moved to our current house, we were the young family on the block, or I should say on the pipestem. Most of our close neighbors were older, sometimes more like our parents. I can imagine what they were thinking when we put up our swing set in the yard. Something along the lines of here we go again. These people, settled in and comfortable, made a real effort to embrace our family. Despite the age differences we became friends. We felt particularly close to one couple. He was quiet and such a gentleman. She was more flamboyant and artistic. Together they had led a fascinating life and it was reflected in their home and interests. Our family enjoyed chatting with them, even the children. She could be so funny, and he was very calming. What a blessing they were for us. The simple acceptance we felt when we met them made our new house a home much faster. 


When he passed a few years ago it made us very sad. It was like losing a family member. Recently she passed, after being ill for a while. The illness had stifled much of her energy but not her sense of humor. We’ve gotten to know their eldest son, who is local, and when he called to tell us I began to think of how much we would miss them both. Not that I saw her as often since she went to live with her son. I should have done more. Her garden has been neglected for a couple of years. She would have had a fit to see it. I can hear her shouting at the deer in the yard. I can see her beautiful paintings in my mind’s eye, I could never afford to buy one. Her work was amazing. They were a couple of the world. They had no patience for discrimination or judgement. They had lived among the rich and the poor and valued both equally. The things we learned from them came through observations of how they lived and the son they raised. Teaching by example, they lived a full and diverse life.


Now they are both gone from this world we can truly appreciate what a gift they gave us. What gifts are you giving this Christmas?


Be the love in the world! :o)