The lady who lives next door to me has lived in her house since she got married. She and her husband raised four children there. They had a swimming pool in the back yard then, but they took it out when the kids grew up.
By the time our family moved in next door, she and her husband were happy empty-nesters. They looked forward to having the family, which now included grandchildren, over for dinner on Saturday night. They tended the front and back lawns with pride and care. They sat together on the rocker-glider on their front porch on summer evenings.
About five years ago, the lady next door’s husband suffered a massive heart attack. For the next year, she cared for him, sometimes at the hospital, sometimes at home. She devoted herself to his comfort. When he died, her children and grandchildren surrounded her at his funeral, and she received a flag for his service to his country.
She decided to keep living in the house next door. She held a huge yard sale and donated all the money she made to heart research. She took a part-time job as an aide at an after-school program. She joined the volunteer program at her church and drove elderly people to their doctor appointments.
She missed those evenings on the rocker-glider, and she cried sometimes, but she kept herself busy. The family still comes over for dinner every Saturday night. The lawn still looks beautiful, although a lawn service tends to it now.
My next-door neighbor survived. She gives to her community. She gives to her family. I’m proud to know her.