A Visit from Will

“Daniel”, Kim called up stairs as I was writing the last post, “Will is here.”


I had called him earlier to ask him to stop by. By the time I had gotten downstairs my father had already broken the news to him. Dad asked, “how did you know Elena?”

“I take their trash,” said Will.

Will works for the city of Shaker Heights collecting trash from our house each Monday. Many people put their trash out at night and collect their empty barrels the next day. We’re lucky enough to know Will. Each Monday my girls rush to the window when they hear the garbage truck nearby.

In the summer they open the windows and shout “Willie”. Will gives them a huge smile and blows kisses to them and waves. During the winter they run from window to window to wave at him as he pulls in the driveway and carts away this week’s trash.

We usually have time to talk a little bit. And then he leaves us to go on to the next house. Doing his job with a love for the people he works for and with. Will has friends all over the city. Kids who wait for him to come. He has an ability to make a connection with so many different people.

Will has that same spark that Elena had. People know when he’s there and they want to be near him. At Christmas time he brought by a gift for my girls. He warned that it was something that kids would love and parents would hate. Sure enough, it was a parrot that repeats back whatever a kid says in a high pitched screeching voice.

What did you get from your garbage man for Christmas?

I look at him and think how lucky and how much richer we are for having this connection. Will lost his mom not too long ago and we watched how sad he was. We sent him a card and greeted him each week to see how he was doing. The girls wrote him notes and tryed to cheer him up and to feel his pain. Today he came to see us and talk to us about our loss.

Published in: on February 24, 2006 at 6:03 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am so sorry for your loss, but glad that you can still appreciate the richness of such connections even at this time. You and your family are in my prayers – with love from a northern Ohio girl in London.

  2. […] I especially like the note about Will the Trash Man. It’s one of those stories that makes me aspire to being more generous to the people I run into everyday — instead of keeping my nose burrowed in my ‘important’ tasks and agendas. […]

  3. really iam so sorry for ur loss.

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