“This is my neighbor.
He has no idea I took this photo from my window.
When my husband was deployed, one of the worries we had was about the grass.
Who would maintain the yard?
I could go out there and cut the grass myself, but with everything I had on my plate with the two girls, I wasn’t feeling it.
We could try and find a lawn service, but that still meant me having to make sure it got done and that they did a good job.
I wanted as little additional worry as possible while my husband was deployed.
This is where Steve comes in.
I sent him a text and told him about the deployment. I wasn’t sure if he would say yes, but I asked.
‘Could you help cut our grass? He will cut it today before he deploys tomorrow, but it would be great if you could cut it and help me maintain it while he is gone. We can pay you.’
He responded right away that it wasn’t a problem at all and that he would not accept payment. He wanted to help.
I let my husband know, and we both breathed a sigh of relief.
When your husband is deployed, whatever worry you can take off your plate means the world.
Knowing the grass would be taken care of was enormous stress off my shoulders.
About an hour later, daddy was playing with his girls.
He was trying to soak up as much time as possible with them before deploying the next day.
He told them he could play for a bit, but he also had to go outside and cut the grass soon.
Then we heard it.
My husband said, ‘Aliette, Steve is cutting the grass! Maybe he misunderstood that we didn’t need him to help us until next week when I’m already gone.’
I went outside. ‘Steve, we didn’t need you to start until next week, and he was going to do it today before he leaves tomorrow.’
Steve responded, ‘I know. But I’m not the one about to leave my family for deployment. He can spend time with his family, I got it.’
My face swelled with tears.
Tears of worry, gratitude, anxiety, and relief all rolled into one.
It all came pouring out on Steve, who probably thought I was a bit overly emotional about grass.
But it wasn’t about the grass.
It was about the gift of time he gave us.
A neighbor stepped up to help when we needed it.
As I came back inside, I thought of Mr. Rogers.
It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
So let’s make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we’re together, we might as well say,
Won’t you be my neighbor?”
This article was submitted to Love What Matters by Aliette Silva. You can follow her on Instagram. Submit your own story here.
Read more stories from Aliette:
‘My student from 10 years ago messaged me. ‘Miss Silva, I’m applying for my Doctorate and Master’s Degree.’ I cried.’: Teacher urges ‘he is much more than the color many cannot see past’
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