That’s my daughter about to ring the doorbell at the home of the mother of her childhood best friend. The best friend died of brain cancer two years ago.
My daughter was nervous. She hadn’t seen her friend or her friend’s mom in ten years. She didn’t know what she was going to say.
Her friend’s mother wasn’t home. Whew.
As my daughter walked away a neighbor across the street asked if she could help. The neighbor said the mom wasn’t there but would be down the street the next day.
My daughter wasn’t sure about going back. Through the window when she was ringing the doorbell she had seen a lift rigged to the stairs and she pictured the mom old and disabled and maybe it would just be too sad for everyone for her to visit. Now she was even more nervous.
She want back anyway. She took her sister. And her own mom, my wife. We all used to be neighbors, but that was 25 years ago.
It was a short, good visit. The mom wasn’t sick or disabled or sad. What a relief. But then she pulled out photos of her daughter’s small child. My daughter didn’t know her friend had any kids. Now THAT was sad. The visitors were sadder than the host. The mom had been through the grieving process. The guests hadn’t.
They held their tears until they left the house with their backs to the door. Then they boo-hoo’d in the car.
Why invite pain? Why invite sadness? The mom will never know if you choose not to knock.
Yes she will
If you knock she gets another little sign that she’s not forgotten and alone. Little signs might be all she has.
You have kids. You imagine how she feels.
YOU don’t want to be forgotten and alone.
So you knock.