The Caregiver Next Door

Neighbor dropping off food for senior man

. . . Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself . . .—MARK 12:31 [KJV]

My father grew up on a farm in Sinks Grove, West Virginia, and adored country-style food. Mom made a lot of his favorites, but she never could fix pinto beans and cornbread quite to his satisfaction.

Somehow our next-door neighbor Patty, a young mother of four, heard about Dad’s hankering for the good old days. I was 13 then, with a brain tumor, and had been referred by local doctors to the Cleveland Clinic for a workup. After Mom and I boarded the train for the six-hour trip, Patty apparently started cooking up a storm.

That night when Mom telephoned home, Dad told her, “I was sitting here after work, honey, stewing about everything. Then you’ll never believe what appeared at the front door: a pot of the best pinto beans I ever tasted and a pan of cornbread. All straight from Patty’s kitchen.”

Mom explained that just like I needed doctors and nurses to care for me, Dad needed someone back home to look after him when we were away. God had sent Patty to be that person. My father recalled that generous gesture for the rest of his days.

Today's Prayer:

Thank you for the caregivers called neighbors, Lord.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts