Friday, October 10, 2008

Today We Meet Mrs. Robertson

No, this isn't really a picture of me as a child, but it could have been.

I was visiting my friend Kay's blog today, and she is doing a series on loneliness, about how we need to reach out to others who are lonely, if we are lonely we need to pray and think about what we can do to alleviate this feeling of loneliness. It's possible to be in an entire crowd of people and still feel lonely.

And reading her posts regarding loneliness, reminded me of Mrs. Robertson. So, I decided to introduce you to her.

Fade back about 46 years--the year is 1962--I am eight years old. My father passed away and my mother returned to work full time. My brother was 13. My grandmother lived with us, but she was a very busy lady--didn't have too much time for kids getting in her way.

It is the summer--I am alone. I'm not allowed to go out of the house to play when no adult is home, so I am more or less stuck there--alone.

Then, some excitement came into my neighborhood. A new neighbor moving in across the street!! I saw her from my living room window, playing outside with her two children and a baby in a stroller. I wanted to go outside to see the little children and the baby, but I knew I wasn't allowed.

So, I continued watching through the window.

One evening, our doorbell rang. Who was on the other side of the door? Why it was the lady from across the street!! She introduced herself to my mother and said that she really needed some help with her three small children. She had seen me watching out the window, and could I be allowed to come during the day and help her?

And, so it began.......everyday I would go to Mrs. Robertson's house across the street to help her with her children--Andrew, Meg and Beth. None of them were school age yet--she was a very busy mom.

Yes, I helped her with her children, helped her with her daily household chores, and I was so happy!

Mrs. Robertson always made all of her own clothing and all of her children's clothing. One day she offered to teach me to knit. She was so patient with me as I struggled through the casting on, the learning of the basic knit stitch, then on to purling, then on to more complicated stitches.

She even let me use her sewing machine to help with some of the children's clothes, and then we made a dress for me!

At the time, I thought that I was being of a great help to her, and I'm sure that in some ways I was. But, as I look back on this time, I now know that she saw a lonely little girl looking out of her living room window, and she decided to reach out to me and help alleviate this loneliness.

More than anything that she taught me, I learned that loneliness in this life is not a necessary portion. All we need to do is reach out to someone, offer them a kind word, send them a little note to let them know we are thinking of them, encourage and affirm someone.

I ask you today to think about this--reach out and touch someone you know that is lonely in some way.

If you, yourself, are lonely, think about ways that you can help to lift your loneliness. There are many people in this world, in your own neighborhood, who need a helping hand, a word of kindness, a friend.

The best way to rid yourself of loneliness is to help another who is feeling the same way.

So, today, I thank Mrs. Robertson, for seeing a lonely little girl, making the effort which led to a huge difference in my life.

And for those who know me, the answer is yes--my son is named after her son--Andrew.

K--that's all for a while!!



HisPrincess said...

That was a really beautiful post Beth. Do you still have any contact with Mrs Robertson? What an amazing lady to take the time to notice you when her life was so busy.

sailorcross said...

Thank you, Sharon!!

I wish I could say that I still have contact with her. I would love to still know and see her.

But, her husband was transferred to another state when I was probably 11 years old, and we never heard from her again.

As I was writing this, I was thinking about that--how old would she be now, how old would her children be. Her son Andrew would be 50 now, only 4 years younger than me--

Again, something odd---1 boy, two girls--same as I have--basically the same age difference in the children--I definitely didn't plan any of that!


Victoria said...

I love this story, Beth. We should all try to be Mrs. Robertson. Your story definitely inspires me to reach out more. Thanks for sharing it here!
V. :)

sailorcross said...

Thanks, Vicki!

And, of course, me being me, I just had to cry a little when I wrote it--just a little though, not my sometimes sobbing!

The part I love best about this story is this--she spent time with me, and that is what I needed most then--someone to spend time with me, just to be there for me, --and she was.

Love you so much,


Denise said...

Such a precious story, thanks for sharing.

Tiffanie said...

Beautiful story.

You know, I've come to realize that we all feel lonely from time to time. And when I am struggling with loneliness I have come to notice that God is one, wanting me to come to Him, and two, wanting me to reach out to others.

Jeana said...

what a sweet, precious story. and it's so true: we should reach out to others. that smile alone that you think really didn't matter, it was just a gesture, could have made a huge difference in someone's life. don't be afraid to reach out - you might be the only one who took the chance.