Tomorrow it will be the third anniversary of one of the most bizarre days of my life, when I took The Engineer to the ER and we found out he had "something" bad on his brain. Thankfully, that "something" (an abscess) was successfully removed on January 2, 2007, and today he has no lingering aftereffects. We are so thankful!
The Engineer was admitted to the hospital that day, December 19th. I took Chickie with me to spend most of the day there each day, until he was released on the 23rd.
One of those nights I drove home in the dark. I was weary. It had only been a couple of days, but I was feeling the physical and emotional fatigue that overwhelms someone who has been suddenly knocked over by the sledgehammer of family illness.
I drove through our neighborhood, seeing the lights people had put on their houses. We hadn't put lights on the outside of our house, but I liked seeing our neighbors' decorations. I turned the corner onto our street.
And there, on our lawn, were two decorative deer, brightly shining with white lights, welcoming me home. I immediately burst into tears. I had no idea who had put them there, but they were just the lift my heavy spirit needed.
Several days later I found out which neighbor had put the deer on the lawn. He nervously asked me if that was okay. I don't think I managed to adequately convey to him how much the gesture had meant to me. Hopefully he was more convinced when, after New Year's, I repeatedly turned down his offers to take the deer off the lawn. By then The Engineer was recovering from surgery, and some days I was still coming home late at night from visiting him. The shining deer sat there, longer than Christmas decorations really "should" be out, bringing light not only to the neighborhood, but also to my heart.
Thanks, Marc and Melanie. Three years later, your gesture of kindness remains as one of my most treasured holiday memories.