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The Power of a Simple Act

April 27, 2011

Jeanne Smedley

I don’t recall the exact day that it took place. It was such a simple act that it didn’t seem to have any great significance.

I was mowing my lawn on the side that blended into my neighbor’s. Their usually well-manicured lawn was unusually tall. But, I didn’t think much about it because I heard the gentleman of the house had recently had some type of surgery. And, I was also aware the couple was retired and had no children.

So, without much thought, I decided it wouldn’t take much longer to knock out their lawn too. I hadn’t finished a couple passes when the lady of the house appeared on the front porch. I stopped my mower, not knowing what to expect. Was she happy with what I was doing, or was she going to throw me off of her property?

As I approached the front porch, I noticed she was noticeably upset. As the tears rolled down her face she thanked me, or at least that’s what it sounded like through the sobs.

I thought it was unusual for her to be so appreciative of such a simple act. And, I told her that in a kind sort of way. What I didn’t know while standing on the lawn that day was the power of that simple act.

Her name was Jeanne. Husband Smoke had indeed had a recent surgery. It was a knee replacement surgery. Smoke made it through the surgery and back to his room without a hitch. But, that night he suffered a massive stroke from a blood clot that left the surgery site and traveled to his brain. He never recovered and died after a long stint of convalescence.

Jeanne and Smoke not only had no children, they had no relatives – other than a sister and a couple nieces a thousand miles away on the east coast. And so it evolved.

The lawn mowing continued. Another plate was placed on the table at holidays. And a very special relationship developed.

What my family and I discovered was one of the most unique and wonderful people we’d ever met. Our relationship has lasted a life time. My wife and I have a second mother and my children have a third grandmother. And, Jeanne has us.

And to think it all started with a simple act.

*Happy 91st Birthday Jeanne

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