For over two years we have been renting our home, and in those two years the house next door has been empty. For a while there was a realty company sign in the yard and then there was a handwritten For Sale sign in the window. I was surprised a few weeks ago when we discovered that a younger couple had moved in. We didn’t see any moving trucks or anything! Seemingly, the first thing that they did was tear out the grapevine that runs along the fence between our two yards. The kids and I have enjoyed two years of picking the grape, eating the grapes, and sharing the grapes with our family and friends. Little did I know that this would be the last “harvest” of grapes we would enjoy! Before I could say anything or do anything the fence was bare. I can honestly confess that I have avoided taking the kids into the backyard because just the thought of the missing grapevine makes me sad and angry.
We went out to the backyard to play today. The kids were playing and I kept staring at the empty fence. I am still sad about the grapevine. I think that grapes are a lot like life. They are here one day and gone the next day. Without any warning the grapevine was uprooted and taken out. Who knows how many years that vine had been there? Who knows how many years each life will be? My grandma was released from the hospital and she is back in the nursing home. She doesn’t seem to be getting any better. She only seems to be getting worse. Who knows how many days she has left to live? I took the grapes for granted. I don’t want to take life for granted. I don’t know who’s side of the fence the grapevine was on, but I know that we had made it our grapevine. The grapes meant a lot to me and they meant nothing to my neighbors. Shouldn’t we remember that everyone means something to God (even neighbors who tear down grapevines).
I did end up meeting the neighbors and I did not say anything to them about the grapevine. They seem like a nice couple. My sister mentioned to the guy that she saw he had taken down the grapevine and he told her that there was poison ivy along the fence and that is why they did it. The kids and I never saw or got poison ivy, but it really makes no difference now.
I’m going to try to “love my neighbor” like I loved that grapevine.