~Loving Your Neighbors~
This is what I am going to miss from my old neighborhood: watching Mr. M putter around his garden across the street; his knocks on the door to give us treasures from his garden he was so proud to present to us; watching him pull out of his driveway every day to go visit his wife, who he simply adored, at the nursing home; seeing him at church so sharply dressed with a big smile for everyone.
I remember the day after his wife passed away. He didn’t come out to his garden for three of four days, and when he finally did it was just for a few moments. We would walk across the street to say hello and bring him bread. His smile was forced and his face almost looked like it was badly bruised (from crying I suppose). But soon enough he stayed outside more and more and Mr. M was back to his old self. He walked across the street just to say, “You know we have such a good neighborhood, I don’t know what I would have done if everyone hadn’t taken care of me.”
Mr. M is getting older, forgetting things, having a hard time keeping up his house and is moving slower and slower in his garden every day.
My other neighbor across the street, Mr. M’s neighbor Susan, keeps tabs on him. She lovingly asked him if she could plant some squash in his backyard garden just so she could secretly come and check on him everyday. He beams with pride when he tells everyone he lets Susan grow beautiful squash in his backyard. Every single day Susan throws on her big floppy gardening hat and heads on over to “check on the squash.” She is the same one who lovingly shuts my car doors when I leave them wide open, tells me my babies will sleep more soundly in the summer with light cotton blankets, rushes to take my garbage cans out when I’ve forgotten yet again and would let me know which weeds I needed to hurry and yank out of my yard before they went crazy.
I am going to miss watching them and learning from them how to love your neighbor. Our time in that house was short and was one of the hardest times in our lives as we dealt with deep betrayal by a loved one and learned how to deal with the stress of being self employed. I am glad to leave and start fresh although I am grateful for watching the love between neighbors across the street.
They have taught me through their quiet example of how I want to be.