My dad died 22 years ago today. I think of him in some capacity every.single.day. I miss him with all my heart. Please skip over this part while I just tell him a few things...
Daddy, I miss you. And I love you. And I so wish you were here to torture my husband whenever he does a home repair job 'cause I just know you'd know how to do it better! And whenever Jack or his sister say that Mommy is the only parent we have left - well, it makes my heart hurt. I really wish you were still around to be a father-in-law. Jack always smiles when he talks about you. He says he really liked you, that you were a nice guy, and a smart guy. He never minded talking to you at the garage when you came in 'cause you were "one of the good ones." (Some of the other customers, not so much!) Me? I think of you every time C says either J or A did something wrong; I know in my heart of hearts that lots of what's gone on these past 19 years would never have happened if you were around - and they just have no idea what they're missing by not having had a chance to have you in their lives. I think of you every time the dishes settle on the sink when they're drying. I think of you when the lights flicker. I think of you whenever I see a wysteria bush. Of course, I think of you every time I go to Mommy's house. Daddy, you were, and are, the BEST. And I miss you so very much. Come and visit me, please? I want to see you in my dreams, I want to hear your voice, I want to feel you hug me again. It can't happen in real life, but in my dreams I know it's possible. I never dream of you (only maybe 3 times since you died). I know Mr. S. comes and visits Toni-Ann quite often - why can't you come and visit me??? I miss you. I love you.
Okay, on to everyday "stuff."
I think it's time I share some neighbor tales... You've met some of my neighbors in previous posts, but there are some tales I can share here that you haven't heard before...
So, when I lived at my mom's house, when I was (much) younger, what I loved the most was the fact that it was a neighborhood. We knew all the families; they knew us. I played with the girl down the street (learned how to ride a bike on her purple Schwinn with the banana seat! My family couldn't afford bicycles for us). I went to school with the boy up the street and for many years, he was one of my closest friends. I learned how to be friends with a boy from Gary; wish we were still in touch. My mom's bestest friend in the whole world lived right across the street from us - she died several years ago and we miss her so much! (Hi, Jackie! I know you're listening!)
But as the years passed, so did the people. Some died. Many moved. And we got some new neighbors. And as much as we loved Jackie and Ronnie, and Frank and Elaine, the new ones? Not so much. People don't really know how to be neighbors anymore, at least not in my mom's neighborhood. Case in point: G next door. He's bipolar or manic-depressive, one or the other. When he's on his meds, he's perfectly polite and friendly. When he's not? LOOK OUT! For instance, on meds: he offered to donate blood for my dad when he was in the hospital. Off meds: Jack threatened to beat him up for being mean to me. No joke! I've only ever seen my husband "in someone's face" twice in 19 years - once here when G was being abusive and obnoxious to me, calling me names, etc., and once when some kids at Action Park were trying to push their way ahead of everyone else on line for the ride. You know, you don't mind one or two joining their "family" up ahead, but when 12 or 13 kids try the same thing, and they're all in the same group, well, you don't mind it!
My mom's been a widow for 22 years. Do you think just once any of her neighbors have taken out her garbage or mowed her lawn or shoveled her snow? I must admit that over the past couple of years, once in a while, not at every snow, someone's shoveled a single shovel's width path on her sidewalk... Thanks, whoever you are! They're under no obligation to do any of it, but give her a chance to say, "No thanks, my daughter/son-in-law/grandson will do it. But that was so nice of you to offer."
In my neighborhood we're really neighbors. We make food for each other (well, they make food for me since my kitchen isn't kosher!), we drive each other to hospitals, we babysit for each other (well, I babysit for them since I don't have a baby to sit!), we sit on the front stoop and chat for hours, we watch the kids play, we shovel each other's snow (well, Jack shovels their snow!) - it's just like it used to be when I was young. I'm SO glad I live where I do.
Next door to me: S & D, and their 5 boys. Across the street, S & E, and their 4 girls. Up the street, S & T and her 2 girls and his 2 boys. Across the street and over one, A & S, who wrote us the nicest note when we got married (I want to be them when we grow up!). Down the street, T, who's been friends with Jack for many years. And C & A, and their 5 kids. I LOVE LIVING HERE!
Okay, before I get in trouble for writing and not working, I'm going to sign off here and continue my ranting and raving another day...