There was a note in my mailbox yesterday: “You weren’t home when we tried to deliver your package, so we dropped it off at your neighbor’s apartment.”
This happens quite often since mailmen normally show up when I’m at work. What was different, though, was the name on the note.
A neighbor I hadn’t heard of or met yet.
When I rang, nobody answered.
I was already walking further up the stairs when the door opened.
An older man sat there in his wheelchair and invited me in.
I have lived in my apartment for three years, but I have never been in any of my neighbors’ apartments. I roughly know the names, but I haven’t really talked to anyone. Everyone seems to live their own life and is happy to enjoy quiet evenings behind closed doors.
With a heavy accent he told me about his life, how rough things have become after his leg had been amputated some months ago. His wife had died two years ago and the depression had made his whole body suffer. When his granddaughter showed up, they spoke Portuguese. He was sad about the lack of care from so many and yet wanted to enjoy living.
When I left I was deeply touched.
Here’s a story of a man, an individual behind the cold walls of my apartment building. Someone who makes it a bit more alive, more human.
And I wonder who and what else is behind closed doors, everyone with their own stories and problems. Maybe we have to challenge ourselves a bit more to look behind the scenes, to invite others into our homes, into our stories, into our lives.
Often things aren’t as shiny and happy as they seem on the outside – looking at them together might make us more alive, more human.
Writing for Five Minute Friday today.