Saturday, September 11, 2010

My September 11th Memorial

Nine years ago, I watched in horror by the images we saw on television. During that next week, I cried, prayed, didn't sleep, walked and attended church, as everyone else did.

After a church memorial service on Friday, September 14th, 2001, I decided to mow my yard. I love mowing the yard and thought it would be a nice distraction. Looking at my neighbor's yard, I knew they were stuck in Canada on vacation and unable to get back to the US until the air mess was lifted.

So I thought, I will mow their yard too. I also put out an American Flag in their yard.

My lovely neighbor, an Auburn graduate and county extension agent, thanked me for my mowing efforts after they came home. But as a grass expert, he really didn't like the way I mowed his yard. Now he would never say that. He was way too polite and proper but I could tell.

Here he is with my daughter... who he loved very much. And she loved him very much.

Fast forward three years ago, he developed cancer and while his family visited him, he would let them know he did not like the way they mowed his yard either... At least I wasn't alone. But we all treasured him. Later in the year, he passed away surrounded by his family. You have never seen a better attended memorial service, there was not an empty seat or a dry eye in the church.

Which brings me to my September 11th Memorial... First I will tell you that I believe service for others is to be done quietly and not to draw attention to that service but I have a challenge to my small group of peeps in this corner of the internet.

I have mowed his yard every week for the last two and a half years. While others are able to serve their country or their community in big ways, I believe that we can serve others in small ways. Mowing his yard relieves his widow from having to worry about her yard. She knows that I will take care of it!! Her yard is now part of my yard. If I weed my yard, I weed her yard. If I fertilize my yard, I fertilize her yard.

So here is my challenge today.....Find someone who you can help. Find someone who needs your small contribution. Trust me, what you think of as small will be BIG for the person you help.

When I mow my neighbor's yard, I think back to that summer day when this country was shaken to it's core. I honor their memory by helping someone weaker than myself.

P.S. I also know that my neighbor is looking down from heaven and shaking his head with disapproval of the way I am mowing his yard but I hope he understands that I mean well.


  1. This was a lovely post, thank you for sharing! I'm up for the challenge!!

  2. very nice post Cynthia...if everyone helped just one person...the world would be a better place....Thank you for mowing your neighbors yard...even if it isn't the way he likes it...he loved you....and that is what matters...

  3. Hi my friend. I love your thoughts today.

    Why does it not surprise me that you are mowing your neighbors yard? When my mother in law died 17 years ago, we learned that she had been doing so many things for others...very quietly. One thing she did that really struck me, she visited a church member who was in a nursing home. He didn't have anyone else so she would visit him and clip his fingernails and toenails. I agree with you that true service is done without anything expected in return.

    I will take this challenge too. :)

  4. So sweet! What a nice way to serve another. You're a blessing~

  5. Thank you for sharing the challenge!


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