I had never thought about whether I was a good or bad neighbor. I have always been friendly, tried to mind my own business, spoken to everyone, waved and smiled and when asked, I would try to accommodate requests. Was I a good neighbor? I don’t know. For most of my adult life, I lived on acreage and did not have neighbors that were 20 feet away. But was that just an excuse?
I have been exposed to neighbors that are unbelievable. When my husband died they all appeared. They did not stop at the door and ask to come in. They opened the door, came in and took over. They never came to me to ask advice about what they should do. They took over. They never asked me where I kept silverware or glassware or tupperware. They took over.
I have never been cared for so well and and with so much love by those outside the family. They were the host and hostesses for my house. I was left to deal with my loss and the necessary decisions of my loss. I was free to go to my room and lay down if I needed to. I was free to go to the funeral home and to visit with the constant numbers of people that came to the house. They took over.
They bought food and water. They organized food. They greeted people. They cleaned areas of the house. They held hands with us. They cried with us. They planned with us. They processed with us. They took over.
My husband died on Saturday. They were there on Saturday. They were there on Sunday. They were there on Monday. They were there on Tuesday. They took turns and seemed to organize their schedule. By Wednesday, they let us know that they were dropping by less because we needed less. We now had lots of relatives to be there. By Thursday they would check in but not stay long.
It was like a choreographed dance. They could sense what we needed and when we needed it. The never pushed into my business but they gave off a sense of being available. They worked in the shadows but let their presence known when there was a need. I am a very independent and private person but I did not feel they interfered with my privacy.
I often have wondered if they took a course on “How to be a Good Neighbor” because they were experts in the field. I am not sure that I could ever do a neighbor job as good as these folks did. I just hope that I have learned some things that I can use when it is my turn to be the good neighbor. Right now I can just say, “thank you, thank you, thank you”. You were so wonderful because you took over.