Veronica Towers shares her experience of Easter this year.
[New City Magazine – June 2021, page 7]
A friend recommended a builder to carry out some repointing and damp proofing at my property. He offered to work over the Easter weekend. As Saturday went on he told me that he was recently separated from his wife and living in a small flat for the first time without his four sons. They were due to have lunch on Easter Sunday with him. I sensed that he was suffering not just because of the separation but because he wanted to give his children the best that he could. So I asked him if he had everything that he needed for an Easter meal. He told me what he was going to cook and then I noticed that he was looking a little embarrassed. I asked if he needed anything and he said, rather hesitantly, that he didn’t have a table big enough for them to eat at. Straight away I offered him my dining room table which extends to sit up to 12 people. He was really amazed and said that he had been hoping to buy one from a charity shop but hadn’t found one and then he had asked at a local café but they weren’t keen to lend him one. ‘Would you really do that for me?’ he asked. ‘Why would you be so good to me?’ I said: ‘it’s what neighbours are for’ and then asked if he would find it helpful to have a few chairs. His face lit up and he agreed to borrow four chairs. Then I asked him about plates and cutlery. He was happy to borrow five of everything needed and, to make it extra special, I gave him a large yellow checked tablecloth with matching napkins and his eyes filled with tears. The final item that I thought of was a gravy boat as he was cooking roast chicken, and he filled his van with everything, saying that he couldn’t wait to ring his mother who would call this an answer to prayer.
Give and there will be gifts for you
When he got back to his flat he set the table and sent me a photo saying that he was so delighted to be able to give his sons a good meal sitting round comfortably together. I felt very moved because his joy was a little Easter moment for us both. His dignity was maintained and his pain was carried differently, at least for that day. When he returned the table and all the items on Monday, he completed the work on the house and told me that he wanted less than he had originally quoted for the project. ‘Give and there will be gifts for you.’ His eldest son had said that they had all had the best possible time together and that the tablecloth and napkins were incredible! We agreed that he can borrow the table whenever he needs to and that we will catch up socially together with other neighbours and our mutual friend, when lockdown lifts.