You don’t know me. And, that is because we have never met. Your life ended before I moved in next door. But I know so much about your life because you live on in your husband.
When we purchased and were renovating our home in 2007, my then fiancé and I met your husband. He is a lovely gentleman in his 70s who has a passion for doing. He is always outside tending to the yard and the garden. He always has a project going on because sitting still would drive him crazy. He is attentive to his property and ours. I am sure he was thinking, who let these two buy this house as we were tearing down walls and changing up the place. For each loud crash or strange sound, he would come running over to check on us.
By the time we got married and moved in, he was a friend. It started off simple. He would pull the trash can from the corner after the garbage truck passed. And, give me advice on how to salvage my garden from my black thumb. We would check in on him, let him know when we would be out of town and send him treats like a piece of birthday cake.
I know his schedule and he knows ours. I know which weekday mornings he puts on his suit, assembles a bouquet of beautiful fresh flowers and heads to visit you in the cemetery. I know your kids and they know ours. They know we are a phone call away if he needs anything. I even got in trouble with him once by tattling to your daughter that he took a bad fall outside one day.
He once told us how good of a cook you were and that he was missing those home cooked meals. He shared that he was having a hard time cooking for one and that he tended to eat frozen dinners. I couldn’t imagine this man eating a frozen dinner each night, and I was not going to allow that.
Now nearly 10 years as neighbors, I am vested in him. He is as much a part of our family as he is yours. Each day when my family sits down to dinner, we serve ourselves and make a plate for him. Then my daughter takes a walk over to your house and delivers his meals. She is little, but she so looks forward to her visits with your husband. He is so excited to see her.
I know I can’t fill your shoes and I don’t intend to. But I want you to know I am doing my small part to help out by making sure he is fed a home cooked meal at least once a day. I hope if my husband outlives me, someone would do it for him. I would hope there is a family next door that will make sure he is ok.
It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child, but I think it takes a village to see us through our entire life. So Sarah, I am happy to be your village. I know that he misses you every day and that one day you will be together again. But in the meantime, you are watching from above and I’ll do my best to be your boots on the ground.