When our realtor showed what became our new home, she hadn't a key to the front door. Our only way in was to buzz the neighbors and hope they would give us entry. As luck would have it, she rang the buzzer for the couple who lived in the condo below what became ours.
Our buzz was answered by a vibrant woman of indeterminate age, (old enough to be my mother) who speaking with a luscious Kentucky lilt introduced herself, and welcomed us to the building. Her first name- Jane-was that of my mother's. I was seduced by the innate ability of a Southern women to make anyone feel comfortable and knew I wanted to live here.
Looking around upstairs I found MY space, took a brief look around the rest of the space, opened the door to the porch and was greeted by cigar smoke wafting from our greeter's husband's afternoon cigar. I then knew I was home. Although older than time itself, the couple downstairs became fast friends.
Like most older folk, our neighbors have health issues. If its not one thing its been another, taking turns, he then she. It would have been tough to say who was in better shape, until Mom's heart surgery last Thursday. She died Friday night of complications of surgery she didn't want to have. After 60+ years the glue that held her family together has passed. Dad's world has come to an end.
My parents died too young so I was spared dealing with aging parents, Mrs. T's folks, while contemporaries of our neighbors, are in good health (thank goodness) but I know many of you deal with sick and aging family daily. It's thankless and physically and mentally crushing. You are doing the work of angels.
Our neighbor's were at the cusp of their inevitable downward spiral. For some death is a relief, for others the work just begins.
Janie we miss you, rest in peace.
2 hours ago