When you live in your home for many years and are used to the person living next to you for so long, it is often a bit daunting when that person is gone and you have new neighbors moving in. You tend to wonder what they will be like and whether or not the life you are used to in your neighborhood will change for the better or the worse. Such was the case for my parents years ago when the lady that lived next to us since I was kid was gone and new neighbors arrived. Well, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that my mom and dad hit the jackpot.
You can tell when people are just innately good people and such was the case with my parent’s neighbors. They were always kind, helpful, considerate and the perfect neighbors for my parents. Where there true humanity shined however was when my grandmother got ill and wound up going in the nursing home and eventually when my dad developed his lymphoma and no longer had the strength to do all the things that he could do prior.
Living away from your parents, you always wonder how they will get along without you there as they enter their older years. You can only do so much from so far and when they tough tasks arise, other than hiring people, you wonder how they will get done. If you are lucky you get a godsend like Artie. He is just one of those people that make it happen. He did not ask if he could mow my parents lawn, he just did it. When my brother and I refurbished my parents bathroom he did not ask if he could pick up parts for us, he just went. When we replaced the fireplace in their living room he did not ask if he could drive over 100 miles round trip to pick it up in his truck, he did it. When they needed lumber to repair the fence that had fallen down around their pool, he did not ask if he could pick it up and help me repair it, he just did it. That’s the kind of man that he is.
That is only one half of the dynamic duo. His wife Jodi became a friend and confidant for my mother. Someone that she could talk to, share with and vent her frustrations as she was dealing with her own issues with my grandmother and my dad. That person you know that if you go over and knock on the door, the person is going to answer no matter what they are doing and be there for you. The person that allows you to be a part of their life, while taking interest in yours.
I would venture to say that at this point, Artie and Jodi are no longer neighbors, they have become family. They are the type of people that you pray for when your house is empty next door. They are the people that prove that humanity is alive and well and that neighborhoods can still be what they were meant to be, the place where you feel safe, a part of community and cared for. They will always have a special place in my heart for being there in the times where my brother and I could not and for that we are truly grateful.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.
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