Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Neighborhood Changes

Our neighbor died yesterday. She was in her 70s, a widow. She was there when we moved in as newlyweds eight years ago. She watched as we had three kids and are awaiting the birth of a fourth.

She always brought over extra treats and gifts for the kids on Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, and birthdays.

And those times when we thought we stunk at parenting she always seemed to come around stating what great parents we were because our kids seemed so happy.

As she became more homebound she would often comment on what delight she got out of watching from her sun room as our kids raced up and down the sidewalk on their Big Wheels; ran down to the lake to throw rocks; and zoomed around in their pretend play.

We were there to help her shovel her driveway. Assist in a garden project. Or just to talk in the yard on a slow summer night.

She was one of the first to move into this neighborhood when it was new 18 years ago. She and her husband had built the house and were settling in to semi-retirement when he suddenly died.

She soldiered on in life--making the best of the situation. When my wife asked if she wanted to meet a man again someday, she looked at her and with all seriousness said, "There isn't anything that a 70 year old man has that I want!"

She was an accomplished organist and played everyday. And on a few occasions we were able to coax our oldest to play his violin for her. It was screechy and raw but she would always comment how wonderful he sounded.

Neighborhoods change. Families move in. Families move out. Kids that once ruled the sidewalks on their trikes and bikes grow and are only seen leaving the house. Their lives having put away childhood.

Yesterday our neighborhood changed. We will dearly miss you Marilyn.