Stranger danger.

My mother recently moved to assisted living, leaving behind a household FULL of stuff. The house was lived in for 25 years, but not maintained and I find it horribly disgusting. I would like to walk away and never set foot there again, and yet, I recognize that there are some antique items that someone might find a great home for…and I would love to see items find a home rather than end up in a dump.

I returned to town for a weekend to help with the sale. My mother’s dear friend had spent days getting things ready to sell.

As I drove into town, the friend said she needed to talk to me, and she asked if I could stop by. My usual worry-voice in my head started to get concerned. What could it be, I thought?

Someone had stopped by the day prior to talk to her. The house is under contract for sale, but when it was on the market she had wanted to purchase it, and she just decided to stop in when she saw someone around. “I am just preparing for the sale” my mother’s friend said.

This stranger lady proceeded to come in, look around, and then spend days helping out for the sale. Her and her granddaughter spent hours scrubbing and sorting things, then pricing them.

The family friend thought it was weird, but trusted her.

My hackles went up. Why would anyone spend their time in a junky, dirty, moldy, gross home? What did she want? What was she trying to get at?

When I met this weird 70 year old woman who just decides to help – I asked her very directly and very quickly. I was extremely suspect.

She shared that she has two sons with special needs whom she cares for, she doesn’t need to work, and this was something that she enjoyed doing. It got her out of her own home, gave her purpose (that’s my own words and reading into the situation), and she was making a friend – getting along very well with my mother’s friend.

I remain skeptical, but after meeting this woman and spending hours working alongside her, as well as wracking my brain and coming up short to figure how she can hurt us somehow, I think that she probably really is just happy to help. She also enjoys her own knick nacks and will take plenty for herself….which is great because it gets things out of the house.

Have you ever stepped in to help a stranger? Have you ever accepted help? Would you accept help in this situation, or turn it away convinced that no one could have a good motive for such a thing?

I live in a world that has me questioning strangers, especially if they want to help. It is a disconnect from a sense of community that I think humans crave. Yet, most of us are super busy in our own lives and we turn away from that community.

I do not anticipate that I will be more trusting in the future. I’m still skeptical of this woman and only time will tell…maybe she will steal one of our identities or do something to the house. But, I think she is genuine, and it warms my heart to see someone stepping up and giving herself a job, randomly, in a way that is very helpful to someone. What if we all went to spend 3 days doing something we found enjoyable but that also helped someone else?

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