The door-bell has just rung. The dog barked and I went to the door, not expecting anyone to call. The neighbour from behind was standing there...a glass jar in her hand......................
I had known my next door neighbours, a gentleman and his wife, since I moved in here 8 years ago. They kept themselves to themselves on the whole. A quick chat over the fence on the odd ooccassion, a comment on the weather, he would call round to tell me they when they were going away so I could keep a look out on the house for them. He was diagnosed with leukemia, may be 18 months ago. As I said, they kept themsleves to themselves. He has been in and out of hospital for the passed 6 months. Chemo and radiotherapy taking its toll on him everytime he returned home. He looked thinner, older, less hair. But he was always up beat and optomistic when I spoke to him. Always hopeful!
I did not like to seem like pestering his wife to see how he was doing. It felt like an intrusion. I would ask after him if I happened to pass her. Occassionally I would knock the door to ask after his health and to pass on my best wishes. I would wait till I saw her to ask again.
The glass jar in hand at my front door..................... was for a collection for my neighbour. He had passed away last Friday or Saturday. Double pneumonia. No flowers for his funeral. Just a collection to go to Leukemia. It hurts! Living next door and I have to find out from another neighbour. Suppose its just her way.......but still feels like being pushed away. But makes me feel like a lousy neighbour.
Whats happened to the neighbourly community that used to be? Whats happened to acknowledging neighbourliness, from both sides as it were? Whats happening to the social fabric of the world in which we live in? Its a sad state of affairs!!! Goodbye my neighbour!