A lesson in empathy

Published 8:16 pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Most of the time, walking outside your front door to find people scurrying from your yard and hurrying away in vehicles would be a good reason for alarm. There are enough shady people looking for opportunities to take advantage of others or take part in any number of nefarious activities that you really can’t be too careful.

Those may have been among the thoughts going through the mind of Ron Wood as he opened the door to his Jackson Road home one recent Monday and saw people piling into cars and leaving from in front of his house. It also flashed through his mind that maybe they had been looking at the pop-up camper he had for sale.

As it turned out, the visitors were neither looking to buy a camper nor looking to cause trouble. In fact, they’d come to the home of Ron Wood and his wife, Amanda, to do a little gardening.

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The drive-by gardening event was a good deed done by members of Boy Scout Troop 30, the troop from which the Woods’ son, Shay Wood, received an Eagle Scout badge a couple of years ago. Having learned that their friend’s mother was having a hard time tending her vegetable garden during a recent resurgence of the Stage IV colon cancer she has fought for the past five years, the Scouts decided to chip in and help out.

When Ron Wood looked around his yard as the vehicles drove away, he soon spotted several large, neat piles of weeds that had been pulled from his wife’s formerly untended vegetable garden.

“I went inside and helped Amanda out to see her garden. Tears flowed from her eyes, and for the first time in a long time they were not the tears of pain or sadness, but of gratitude,” he told a reporter this week.

Every wonder how you can help someone who’s suffering from the debilitating effects of a disease like cancer? The Scout from Troop 30 did, too, and they settled on an idea that was truly special. What a great lesson in empathy and love they have taught us all.