This time of year, the sound of lawn mowers and trimmers can be heard along my road from sun up to sun down, any day of the week. It becomes sort of a neighborhood symphony of sights and sounds that defines the warm weather season.
I never gave the lawn moving process much thought until one night last week, while enjoying my daily walk. It was nearing dusk. I was moving at a fast pace hoping to beat the approaching nightfall. Within minutes I was passing the home of my friend, Laurie, who was guiding her riding mower around her lawn.
As Laurie and I waved hello, my memory flashbacked to a night 12 years earlier. Laurie and I were again waving as I walked by her home. Only this time she was mowing just the front section of her lawn, using a small walk-behind gas mower. The rest of the mowing job was being taken care of by her husband, who was driving the rider.
While the variance between these two lawn mowing moments may not appear significant, in reality they were life-changing. For in between those twelve years, Laurie’s husband passed away, leaving her fully accountable for all things at their home, from mowing the lawn and far beyond.
As I continued my walk, I thought about all of the responsibilities that my friend has had to assume and all the tasks she has had to learn now that she is on her own. In the first years of her widowhood, the list was endless with moments when she was sure she would never manage.
Yet to her credit Laurie kept trying, always determined that she would become capable of sustaining the new circumstances of life in her home.
Today, I watch this special woman move through her new world order with confidence and a positive attitude. She has transitioned beyond the mindset of impossible to a strong belief that she is capable of figuring out anything that comes her way. And all the while she continues to learn to heal from the loss of the love of her life.
So when my friend, Laurie, is out mowing her lawn these days, I know that most people see a neighbor doing what all neighbors do this time of year.
However, I see a woman who has faced some of life’s greatest challenges, overcome them and moved on. I see a woman who I have come to admire and respect for her determination, her strength and her courage. I see a woman who is carrying on with her life in circumstances that were literally life-ending.
I see a woman who I am honored to call “friend”…and who can cut a lawn with the best of them.