Friday, March 11, 2016


Our fingerprints don't fade
from the lives we touch.

~ Judy Blume

A neighbor is a person
who lives close by, according
to the dictionary.  Other
definitions include bystander,
acquaintance, nearby resident

and friend.

If you are lucky enough to
call your neighbor a friend,
you are very blessed, 

At my house, we've lost
three neighbors this winter,
although only one lived here
on our street.

The other two were from past
neighborhoods; one from my
husband's childhood, and
one from my own.

When we moved here 16 years
ago with a kindergartner and 
two year old in tow, our 
neighbors across the street
were empty nesters.

They took a great interest in
all the kids on the street,
and I assumed that they must
be a bit sad and lonely,
missing the four children
they'd raised here.

Their last name was Rohmann
and they lived on the lake
side of our street.  One day
they invited us over to chat
and I noticed their boat
bobbing in the lake behind
the house.

The Rohmann Holiday.

They were having fun then,
and they continued to have
fun through the years, with
friends and grandchildren and
dogs.  Even when Mr. R had to
move to assisted living, they
still found the joy in life,
because that's just the kind
of people they were, and
Mrs. R still is.

I learned a lot from them.


Mrs. K lived across the street
from my husband's childhood
home.  She was a Mrs. Brady 
sort of mom, whose home was
like a magnet to her 
kids' friends.  

A widow for over 25 years,
Mrs. K continued to pour
her love on others, and
was one of the lunch ladies
in the church basement at
my father-in-law's funeral
just a year ago, still 
pouring coffee and handing
out hugs at 89.


Shirley, our most recent
loss, lived in a sweet yellow
house with her husband and
son across from the brick
one my family moved into
when I was 13. 

This tiny, energetic lady
always seemed ageless to me.
Back then, I saw her
simply as one of the moms
in the neighborhood (and 
one of my mom's pals) who
I'd wave to when she was
outside tending her garden.

But after I was in college
and my family had moved
out of state with my dad's
new job, she invited me to
come home to her house
for Thanksgiving, and we
became real friends.

Shirley's story involved
a great deal of loss and
heartache, but she stayed
actively engaged in life
and in her community, even
after being widowed twice.

With a penchant for cards
featuring flowers and
animals, she was one of
the few people I knew who
enjoyed corresponding the
old-fashioned way, and we
were pen friends until 
she died.

How I'll miss seeing those
envelopes in my mailbox.


Whether you live in the
country, a suburb or
a city, I hope you have
a neighbor who is also a
friend; the kind who will
let the dog out when you
are detained, lend you a cup
of sugar, water your plants
when you travel, or bring
you warm banana bread
just because.

{I bet you are one
of those neighbors!}

Our aching world needs
more of these kindnesses,
drawing us all together
like good neighbors, one 
tender fingerprint at 
a time.


(All pics my own.)