Amanda continues to do well and her family is thriving. Check the link to see for yourselves. What an ordeal and what a strong, wonderful family. I just love them, in case you hadn’t guessed. Keep them all in your prayers if you are inclined. Otherwise, just check the link from time to time to see this beautiful family move forward.
I mentioned in January that we were struggling with our neighbor. She was unhappy with the kids and us and it was a complete surprise. We had another run-in in early February and it was ugly. Since then, I’ve been very careful about boundaries and keeping the kids far away from her comfort zone.
Still, it was nagging at me. I like our neighborhood so much. I don’t want to be on ugly terms with any of our neighbors if it can be helped. As you’ve read, ad nausaem, I have been working on our garden. The garden happens to be on the neighbor’s side of the house. Things just didn’t seem right. Our “angry” neighbor and another neighbor share lawn guys. The lawn guy told our other neighbors that he thought our neighbor was sick. I noticed a strange car a few times – our neighborhood is pretty predictable. One afternoon, I caught a glimpse of our “angry” neighbor. Her really beautiful (dark, swingy, Mary Tyler Moore-ish) hair was gone. She didn’t see me huddled in my mud field.
It bothered me for about a week. Finally, I found a card and wrote our neighbor a note. My note just read that I hoped she was happier with the kids playing farther away from her house and that I’d noticed she was home a lot more and it was a small neighborhood and I’d heard she was sick. I told her if that was the case, that she should know that I’m here all day everyday and we are all willing to help her if she needs it. I did this because I mean it – I hate to think of someone living right next door to me in need of something. I also did it because I don’t like living with anger if I can help it. So, mostly, I wrote the note for myself.
I saw my neighbor yesterday, briefly as she went into her house (I was in the garden again). We gave each other a little wave and said nothing. I thought this was progress and went on with my weeding. This afternoon, I received a phone call from the “angry” neighbor. She was so kind and to the point. She’s been a direct woman since I first met her. She told me what was going on and said she was relieved to know she could call here after all she’s been through. She actually apologized for talking to me like I was the mother of all the children who had been driving her so crazy.
She’s been through a lot lately. A LOT. Her husband died young and unexpectedly and they never had kids and she never remarried. She’s really almost entirely alone. As I talked to her, I realized, I will never be that alone should I get really sick. It might not make my family happy to care for me, but I know they will. (In return, I will not haunt them.)
I’m SO glad she accepted my note and the offers wherein in the spirit I intended them. Colon cancer, caught early, treated aggressively. If you are the praying sort please keep Andrea in your prayers.
I’m happy it’s all worked out amicably, but I’m sad that it took something so serious to make it work. I’ve always been a note-writer and this experience will serve as an example. Most notes get no response, but sometimes, that 10 minutes spent on nice handwriting and sincere thoughts pays off. I feel peace and I think she feels it too.
I believe our neighbor will come through this just fine and I’ll bet in two years I’ll be complaining about her complaining about us. I am looking forward to it! How crazy is that?