My neighbors Greg and Shana Sanchez show their community what Christianity is supposed to be about. In the New Living Bible translation of Matthew 7:12, we learn the golden rule.
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
From a very early age, I listened to my mom talk about the Golden Rule: “Nellie, you should always treat others how you’d like to be treated,” she’d say.
At this time in my life, I’m going through some challenges, one could say. With the arrest of my 41-year-old son who is consequently out of pocket for a while, I know he is safe. His public defender is also a tough defense attorney. Still, Wayne’s personal and professional business had to be rounded up and closed up.
His father wasn’t traveling north from Texas to hire a private attorney nor the professionals needed to pack and store his belongings (and some of my belongings that he had been using), the task was left up to me.
When I (on oxygen) returned from the first visit to my son’s upstairs apartment, I was crying and went next door to Greg and Shana’s. They hugged me and listened to me. They asked, “What can we do to help you?” They packed clothes, shoes, technology stuff, dishes, bedding, exercise equipment, keepsakes, office stuff and even loaded up a wooden futon and mattress. Then they loaded up their truck and flat bed trailer to bring his stuff over to my studio. They also unloaded, arranged a pathway through the stuff, and did that five or six times in the week of some of the highest temperatures for the valley in years. To deliver the futon, he drove 20 miles to deliver it and unload and set it up for one of my son’s elderly friends. My ex, said in text, voicemail and over the phone to Greg that he would pay him if he would pack up Wayne’s apartment and store at my place.
If a professional mover had been hired, this move would have ranged upward of $2,500, I’m guessing from the expenses that others I’ve known who have hired help. With that knowledge, I wouldn’t have thought he would pay any less than $800 or $1,000 for him to get all my son’s gear out of his apartment. Did I mention that the apartment was upstairs, a rickety set of stairs? With steep steps and awkward turn? Instead, Wayne’s father who always points out that he is Christian and wealthy, was quicker not to pay fairly. He offered $50 finally and I don’t think that ever came to the good Samaritans. Wayne did pay the neighbor some, but not near what they earned.
A friend of Wayne’s also stepped in to give back to Wayne for the futon and he has brought over some more property. Marianna King, who also rescues cats and kittens with Cats Alive SLV and ALPHA Humane League’s medical, and food support, offered to store some of Wayne’s library, as well. It’s a lot of lifting and moving. A new friend Alisha on Facebook stepped in to mow my yard and pull weeds—a chore my son did for me on occasion, too.
I’m living a dynamic commentary of what it means to love your neighbor as yourself because my neighbors have been so generous with their assistance and caring, I’m truly blessed and grateful.
—Nelda Curtiss is a former substance-prevention media specialist, journalist, and retired college professor who enjoys writing and fine arts. Contact her at [email protected]