You remember the Porch Fairy who—when my husband, Gary, was dying in the hospital bed in our living room—left Chai tea for me and Americano coffee for my daughter on our front porch? Daily. For weeks. Even in snow and ice.
It breaks my heart to say that the Porch Fairy has now joined the Widow’s Club when her beloved unexpectedly and recently left this earth for his heavenly home.
I was out of town at the time, and I’m headed out of town again today. But there were a dozen days in between all the coming and going, and my first thought was that maybe I could reciprocate in a small way.
And so, I began my abbreviated version of her very large and kind and overwhelmingly generous gift to me.
Turns out, the Porch Fairy is breaking PF rules. When I delivered Chai tea on one of those mornings, there was a package and a note on the front porch. For me.
And so I texted her later with a rather stern message: “The recipient of Porch Fairy-ness is not allowed to leave gifts on her front porch for the one making deliveries. This is against PF rules.”
And then—because she’s a retired school teacher—I threatened her with after-school detention.
Well, the Porch Fairy had the audacity to
sass text back: “Such deviations of the code are allowed under the augmentation of the Fairy’s plan to leave the country, soon, and for an extended period of time. See Legality of Chai-ness, #5 …”
I hadn’t planned to blog about this because my friend’s loss is her story, and I didn’t need to bring attention to my small part in it.
But I learned 2 things in the process:
1. Sometimes joy doesn’t come until after we step out in love.
I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t looking forward to scraping ice off my windshield in the dark and frozen morning hours and driving slowly, slidingly across town to make deliveries.
But that dread turned to anticipation. I was awake early every morning, and there was joy in the anticipation of scraping ice, and joy in the peaceful drive across town while I prayed for my friend, and joy in placing a blessing on her front porch.
Here’s the thing: If we listen to our hearts — and to God — in doing good, in fighting for love, in going to whatever hard place goodness and love may lead us, then joy shows up.
But usually not until we take those first, tentative steps.
2. One cannot “out-Porch-Fairy” the original Porch Fairy. (But I think I already knew that.)
And so …
It’s been four years since Gary left this earth for his cancer-free, pain-free, eternal home with Jesus.
My heart is fine. The grief is long gone. My life is sweet, and brimming, and boisterous, and freckled, and wildly gleeful, and untangled, and tranquil, and … (you get the idea).
But I remember those last bittersweet weeks of Gary’s life on earth—as my heart was being battered—and how the Porch Fairy’s thoughtfulness extended far beyond delivering hot beverages and other assorted gifts to our front porch on wintry autumn mornings.
It was a loud and resounding message that said: I understand cancer is ramping up and it pains my heart to know you’re facing the death of your husband, and if this offering can convey that I’m thinking of you and praying for you and belligerently loving you, well then …
Yes, the Chai tea said all that.
Is there someone in your life similar to my Porch Fairy? If so, I’d love to hear about it.