Wednesday, September 15, 2010
How could we have let this happen? We're lousy neighbors. It's embarrassing to admit how really lousy we are. Tonight we found out that our neighbor died of cancer.... three and a half years ago. Yes! We had no idea!!
Charles made a home repair, and its origin had to do with a faulty water heater from way back. The repair could have been made years ago, but we had never put two and two together. He thought, "gee, I should tell Mark (not his real name) about this."
Mark was our neighbor. The nicest guy... so friendly and always had a big smile on his face. He loved working in his yard, in the garden, and he loved golf. Sometimes they traveled to Scotland and other places where Mark got to play golf in places that gave him a thrill. He asked us to collect mail and extra papers that arrive while one is gone and can't control what is dropped on one's front step. It wasn't much, but he appreciated our help. It was always fun when they returned, and Mark would retrieve their mail and give us a happy report about the trip.
So when Charles thought about telling Mark about the home repair, he started to realize that he hadn't seen Mark around the neighborhood in quite some time. And.. come to think of it... when the garage door is up, he noticed that there is only one vehicle in the garage.
Well, I am the Queen of Unobservance, so don't ever ask me about who has been in the neighborhood and who has not, or who has only one car when they used to have two. But once Charles mentioned it, I realized I had not seen Mark in a while, either.
I did a Google search and found Mark's obituary. I was shocked, saddened, and feel ashamed that we had no idea! We certainly would have gone to his funeral or at the very least would have spoken some words of comfort to his widow. I am sitting here with a stomach ache, feeling so bad about being such lousy neighbors that we didn't even know he had been sick, let alone that he died.... and so long ago. Dang!!
The last time we saw Mark and Mrs. Mark was when our son graduated from high school. They came over here for the open house party. As usual, they were happy and full of smiles and so friendly. It seems like just a year or two ago. You know how time flies.... It was five years ago! Little did we know that Mark had very little time left on this earth. I always thought we would invite them over for pie and coffee... as soon as we got the house cleaned up, or as soon as we got this or that remodeled. Ha. It never happened.
I feel awful. Tomorrow I will do something. I don't know what. But I will do something. I have to speak to Mrs. Mark. It will be hard to admit what lousy neighbors we are.
Moral of the story: Don't waste any time planning to be nice to your neighbors! Just do it! You might not have as much time as you think!