A while ago, I had to fire a contractor that was doing some work for me.  Among other things was stealing things from my basement.   I'm not a drinker, but I had a good deal of beers stored in the basement, left over from a party.   I also had sodas and several boxes of chocolate bars (which I don’t eat now) left over from a summer of camping trips.   A few times once finished for the day, I had offered them a beer or soda.  They enjoyed it; all was well.  Here is the funny thing, except for the hazard of drinking on the job and violation of my property and space, I really didn’t care that he stole the remainder of my beers and sodas.  I don’t drink them and didn’t want them anyway.  I would have given it to them after hours to enjoy.  My shock came from the idea that he would steal my chocolate.  I thought to myself, this was not a misunderstanding; he went in and stole all of my boxes of chocolate.  I spoke with his sister, a nice woman, who had been my father’s home health aide once and told her what happened.  “What kind of man steals chocolate from a woman? Is he suicidal…insane…  He doesn’t know what kind of mental state I might be in that I need that much chocolate on hand!  I mean if he goes into basement and sees that I have a larder of chocolate, he must have some idea of the danger he was potentially getting himself into by stealing it!”  She was laughing with tears rolling down her face; she agreed and said she didn’t know what was wrong with him and called to scream at him.

enter contractor from heaven

Then entered the contractor from heaven, Mr. Henry.  Funny enough he was recommended by my dad’s nurse (not his health aide).  She lived in town and is an absolutely wonderful woman.  Disgusted also by the Chocolate Bandit, she recommended a contractor that she used.  He was an older gentleman, like my dad.  He was warmed by the fact that I was taking care of my father and offered to finish the job only at the cost his workers were getting paid.  Basically to cut his fee.  He said, “Let’s get you squared away on this and then we can speak about the fee for other work you may have going forward.”   This was so helpful to me; I became teary.  Money is always tight and it really saved my ass..ets! 

Let's think about something important...Me!

He finished the first part of the job and then my father had to be hospitalized and after a few months passed away.    At some point later, my focused returned to the unfinished job.  I decided to call the contractor and see if I could get him to return to finish the job.  A young woman answered the phone and let me know that she did not believe he would be able to come to my home to work.  I asked when did she think he might be able to come.  She said never.  It was so abrupt and I was confused.  We had had such a great rapport and he was such a lovely man; I didn’t understand what could be the matter.  I asked what the problem was and she let me know that her father had just been in a motorcycle accident.  He was hit and flung across the highway, run over and immediately suffered a stroke.  After being shocked to hear this, I was disgusted that my next thought was so selfish, “oh, no, how will I ever be able to afford someone to finish the job.”  Immediately, I chided myself and I thought, “How could you possibly even think of yourself at this moment.  You are okay.  Step out of yourself and be there for this woman whose father so graciously helped you.”  Immediately I focused on her.  I told her of things that I had done that were helpful for my father when he was in ICU and I listened.  When we hung up, she seemed lighter, and I felt happy to have been able to help Mr. Henry (by way of helping his daughter) who had been so kind to me.    

I sat on my front steps in the sun and reflected on what happened.  I reminded myself that there is plenty of good in the world, (though I should add here, I do not believe that we manage to distribute it well), that I try to constantly contribute to that goodness and that I should let go of worrying about how it will get done (meaning take active steps, not become overly focused on myself and not to allow my worry to impede me being caring and loving).  I should let the goodness care for me…have a little faith!

Good in the world

I sat on my front steps in the sun and looked at my garden, when a truck drove passed and parked across the street.  A man got out who looked kind of familiar.  He walked over to my step and said, “Good morning!  I am the carpenter of Mr. Henry’s".  I smiled and said, “Did his daughter just call you?”  He looked at me and frowned and replied, “No, I am here to pick up my tile cutter and some other tools that we left many months ago at your home.”  My eyebrows raised, ”Mr. Henry’s daughter didn’t ask you to come here?”  He smiled a funny smile, ”no”.    I hesitantly asked him, would he possible be able to come finish the job that was started.  He replied, “of course, after I finish the job I am working on, I will return to your home.” 

increasing my community

He finished the job and ended up fixing a few other desperate projects.  He saved me, no joke.  Things were rotting and I had no means to fix them.  I brought him along on a couple of home organization jobs and recommended him for other jobs that have kept him working for the last several years.  He is such a dear person, that one day he came over and painted and repaired part of my roof free.  He knew it needed to be done and that I was unable to fix it.  We are now a part of each other’s community and I will forever be amazed at the goodness that comes when I pull my head outta my arse and focus on others.