There is so much that a ‘for sale’ sign on a front lawn could say. One may represent a new job around the corner in a different city, while another may represent the end to a marriage. One may be the sign of a growing family moving to a larger space, while another may be a retired couple looking to downsize. Yet another may reflect a newly widowed spouse and another looking to take advantage of a hot housing market.
I may not know the meaning behind the Remax sign staked in the ground approximately 6 houses away from my front door, but I do know the feeling that it sparked in me. Let me explain by taking you back on a recent history trip…
We have been in our current home now exactly one year and have gotten to know most of the neighbors on our cul de sac over that period of time. However, it wasn’t until this past Halloween that I had the opportunity to see who was behind the door of the home that is currently graced with a ‘for sale’ sign. On that October evening, Kayla and I dressed Kendrick up as a lil’ monkey and our friends Nikki and Richard came over with their lil’ lion Nathan to go trick or treating around the block. In the short trip around a few homes we encountered high winds, high people, and some scary decorations. But nothing got my attention like what met us at this particular house. With our mini jungle dudes holding their bright orange pumpkins, we rang the doorbell and was greeted with two incredible smiles – smiles that seemed to cap off the distinguished and respectful look of this elderly couple that was so delighted to see us. After giving the boys what they came looking for, the gentlemen pulled out a disposable camera (first time I saw one of those in action in a long time). He asked if he could snap a picture of us … we obliged, while laughing a little inside at the classic ‘roll to the end then snap a pic’ camera.
About a week or two later, I was getting ready to make my daily trek out the door at approximately 8 am when the doorbell rang. Wondering who could possibly be looking for either of us that early, I slowly opened the door. Now, with our positions of doorbell ringer and door answerer reversed, I was pleasantly surprised to see the disposable camera photographer smiling bright in his toque and winter coat. As if he knew that he was about to make my day, he looks up and says “thought you may like to have this”, handing me the kodak moment he captured on Halloween. The pic itself was so off-centred and somewhat blurred, but the act of snapping it and getting it printed and delivering it to my door was priceless.
Since that October night, I have frequently left our street to go to work, to go work out at the gym, to go on a family errand, or a variety of other reasons, and have looked forward to the times when I notice him out washing his car (yes even in winter) or caring for his property. Without fail, he will greet me with that same smile and a polite wave and somehow I look at the trip ahead of me as being a little brighter. I don’t even know this gentlemen’s name and he still has the wherewithal to make my day that much more enjoyable, without realizing it.
Do you ever wonder who’s day you are impacting? The cashier at your grocery store, the neighbor next door, your spouse, your child, a panhandler you pass daily, etc…some more obvious than others, but all in your realm of influence have their day impacted somehow by you. That is a reality that can seem daunting and scary, but also incredibly rewarding. The question isn’t whether or not you will leave a legacy, but what kind of legacy will you leave? I am reminded as I leave my cul de sac by the friendliness of my elderly neighbor, and as I head for home at the end of each day.
As I am saddened by the apparent news that I am losing a great neighbor, let’s step up our intent to leave a positive impact on the lives within our reach! Put an imaginary ‘FOR SALE’ sign on your yard and ask yourself a revealing question: ‘will I be missed?’