Friday, March 11, 2016

Fingerprints


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, 
indeed.

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.

Fingerprints.




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.

Fingerprints.




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.

Fingerprints.

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.






xo
Suzanne


(All pics my own.)
















10 comments:

Blondie's Journal said...

I'm truly sorry for your losses. I have such an affinity for the elderly...their past often holds much insight in our present and future. You've written great tributes that these people probably never thought would happen. Told so warmly and sent out into cyberspace. Amazing to them if they are looking down, and another incredibly thoughtful post from you. Thank you,

Jane

Jill Hinson said...

Sending you love love across the miles….I fear these types of relationships are fading from the fabric of our nation…..the kind of adults who when I became an adult I still called Mrs. ______ or Mr.____. We need these relationships, desperately, right now.
xo~Jill

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Always such a thoughtful post from you! Thank you for your words which I will munch on through the weekend. Having moved so often, we've had many neighbors, many of which we remain dear friends. So sorry about your loss - those times are rough. Sending you the love

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Lovely, Suzanne. People can make such impact in our lives...I am sorry for those you have lost. It makes me want to be a better neighbor. My mother is this type of person...she has a true gift of hopitality. Wishing you a beautiful weekend...see you soon!

Deborah said...

Sending you hugs Suzanne.
Its so true that we are so blessed by all those whom God places tenderly in our lives. I was just saying to a friend that He is such an intimate Father and a God of great detail. How lovely that you were so blessed and are such a blessing to all whom you meet. Fingerprints that are never forgotten.
Even God Himself says He will not forget even a cold cup of water given in His Name.
Love to you my sweet friend xoxoxo

All my heart,
Deborah

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Suzanne, I love the title of this post...fingerprints. Such a poignant reminder that wherever we go and who ever we meet we leave out fingerprint on their lives. Hopefully all good, but one never knows.

I am sorry for the loss of your three friends, so many memories though to keep your heart warm though.

I hope that you have a wonderful week. And I hope your little pup and your two kids are well. How is Elizabeth enjoying California?

Xo Elizabeth

Jeanie said...

That's a lot of loss in a short time. Winter is so very hard on people. I'm so very sorry.

I know what you mean about neighbors. I feel fortunate to live in a neighborhood where we know everyone's name, where kids play outside and we see people walking dogs, kids, themselves. One neighbor climbed on my roof when my anti-critter cage over the chimney fell off in a windstorm, another looked after Lizzie for two days when my cat sitter couldn't make it. We say hello, we ask after the kid who went to college years ago and now is a teacher. You are blessed to know your neighbors, as am I. I'm just sorry your 'hood is a bit smaller, along with the friends of the past.

Barb Brookbank said...

First I want to say I'm sorry for your losses. That's a lot to deal with in one winter ... I lost a friend and neighbour last spring and it's left an empty space in my heart. Your photos are so beautiful and full of emotion, just perfect with your words. It's been so lovely to find your beautiful blog! xo

Katie Clooney said...

Wow Suzanne... you have a beautiful way with words and your photos compliment them perfectly. Elizabeth sent me over and I'm glad she did. I am now going to read some of your past posts. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and I will definitely be back!!

Rambling Tart said...

What beautiful people you have known. XO I'm so sorry for your loss, and so thankful you experienced such love and kindness for so many years.