Monday, April 23, 2007

A Sad Day In The Neighborhood

Babcia & Dziadek (Polish for grandma & grandpa), as we have come to call them, have lived on our street for 60 plus years. While Mrs. Joe and I have lived next to this wonderful couple for only eight years, we have grown close to them. We often take Peanut & The Champ over, knowing nothing brightens an older person’s day than having little kids around.

For the last two years though, Dziadek had been in a nursing home, the effects of old age finally catching up. Mrs. Joe would sometimes take the kids to see him, afterward mentioning to me while we ate dinner how frail he looked.

Babcia, still getting around with the help of a walker, had resigned to the fact that her husband wasn’t going to come back home. She would joke that without him in the house, she could watch whatever she wanted on TV. She still comes outside if she sees the kids in the yard. Sometimes bringing popsicles for them to eat or bubbles to blow. Knowing it is tough for her to prepare meals, Mrs. Joe has often sent me next door with a plate of food for her,

“Tell her I accidentally made too much.”

Sadly, Mrs. Joe called me at work Friday to say she got a phone call from one of their daughters giving us the news that Dziadek had passed away. She told me to make sure I was able to go to the service today. The wake last night and not knowing the family too well, we paid our respects and quietly slipped out. We enjoyed looking at the poster boards of old photos, most taken both inside and outside of their house. It seemed that over 30 years went by and their house hadn’t changed a bit. This morning, we both left work for awhile and met at the church. It was a beautiful mass with many friends and family. When the grandsons spoke of the grandfather, Mrs. Joes’ eyes welled up and I realized how upset she was.

After the service, we both went back to work for the day. Later, after Mrs. Joe got home with kids, Babcia & Dziadek’s two daughters came by to say thanks and how they really appreciate everything we have done for their parents. The way we both look at it is simple. When we are in our 80’s, we hope that there will be a younger couple living next door that will help us out when we need it.

No other person in our neighborhood attended the service this morning. Maybe they were too busy, or maybe the just chose not to go. Whatever the reason, it reminded once again that my wife is one of the greatest gifts I could have. For someone to become that close to a neighbor in today’s world says a lot.

I've decided we should start taking more pictures around the house. Because in 40 or so years, when it’s our turn, we hope that there will be some young couple we got to know, looking at some old photos of us and getting a little upset.



Blogger Sue said...

Absolutely beautiful. Darn you for making me cry in work!!

Tue Apr 24, 09:03:00 AM 2007  
Anonymous Redneck Mommy said...

I'm saddened for your loss.

But there is an eloquent truth to your words, and I hope that oneday too, some young couple will find us charming and adopt us they way you did with your neighbours.

Wed Apr 25, 10:20:00 AM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am sorry to hear about your neighbor.

mrs. joe is indeed a gift.

Wed Apr 25, 01:05:00 PM 2007  
Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

What a beautiful post..... you had me in tears..... I do the same with the little old man that lives opposite me........ I have lived opposite him in my little lane for 24 years, he was much younger and spritely back then and he would often give us advise, and when I was left to raise 4 sons completely alone he would potter over the road and chat to me lads and tinker about in his garage with them....... his wifey got alzhemers a few years ago and eventually she had to go into a home, because he/we could no longer look after her...... she died not long after...... and Old Mr Foote really started to go down hill, he is in his early 80s, so I badgered him into joining a dance club where he has met a wonderful elderly lady, they are smashing friends and they go visit places and have dinner and lunch in our village pubs..... it has given him a new lease of life..... even if only for a short while....... but I will always be here for him...... I loves the old codger :)


Mon May 07, 01:24:00 PM 2007  

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