I pass by her place almost every day. I can tell that something hasn’t been right for awhile now. Both my husband and I have commented so. Being that we don’t know her personally, it’s been difficult to guess exactly what has happened
, but we don’t see her red truck anymore and her black dog has also disappeared. It doesn’t seem good. For quite some time, I also haven’t witnessed her and her trekking poles out rounding her lot, as she used to very religiously do. On the other hand, we have seen her children, or who we assume are her children, show up on the property a few times lately and a new red car has appeared in the lineup of other older modelled vehicles, all of which sit neatly across from her home.
The narrative we have of our older neighbour lady is that she is a lover of the outdoors, somewhat of a recluse maybe, widowed perhaps, whose business doesn’t belong in amongst other people’s business; hence, her desire to keep to herself. Her aged face tells me that she has spent a lot of time in the sun, likely gardening and hiking amongst other activities. Kind of funny in a way how we conjure up ideas like these about individuals without knowing even one shred of information or truth about them.
When we first moved out here to the country, we would smile and wave at our neighbour whenever we went by and sometimes she would look our direction, but mostly, she just did her thing, which we certainly respected. Many people who live out of main cities and towns do so because they want to lead a more private life. With all that goes on in this world, I am sure that she had a very good reason, or two even, for why she was the way she was and so, we would admittedly look on with a sense of curiosity, while also minding her wishes.
Having said that, clearly there has been a change of life events at her place. My husband suggested that she might have gone on a trip, but I don’t think it’s likely in that the feeling I get is that she is not one to take elaborate vacations of sorts, rather she is more of a homebody instead; someone who is just happy being on her own in her own yard with her own things and her own dog. If she isn’t off travelling, which she could be and I am way off the mark in my hypotheses, then one has to wonder if she has fallen ill or if, worse yet, she has passed away. Without making any rash decisions, I am presently thinking the latter and here’s why…
This past week, as I drove past her place on my way to work as I have many times prior, a feeling came over me–one in which I could sense that her energy was gone. In other words, she was no longer with us. I hadn’t ever had that feeling before, not even the weekend prior when I had driven by. While I understand that my scenario likely sounds strange to many of you given that I didn’t even know her literal presence, I also cannot deny what I felt. In that moment, I had to wonder if, in fact, she had passed on that very day. The trouble is that I don’t think that we will ever get to know what has happened to our neighbour lady across the way unless she were to suddenly show up again, which would be nice since I don’t really enjoy thinking the worst. Unfortunately, I also can’t seem to shake the feeling that she is gone under the growing mound of evidence or rather lack thereof, of her whereabouts.
Meanwhile, as I continue to drive past her place, and day by day spring sets itself in, I cannot help but feel sad as she misses out on watching her grass turn ever more green, her little yellow pinwheels spinning in the wind and the growing sounds of her little frog friends ribbiting away in the nearby pond. What if last spring was her last spring here and not knowing it at the time, or maybe knowing, that there would be no more springs for her to experience? Nobody ever really knows, though, do they? I can tell you one thing for sure out of all of this and that is a reminder to live each day to the fullest because the future is promised to no one.
To our neighbour lady, “Wherever you are, we want you to know that even though we never really knew each other, you are in our thoughts.” Proof to my husband and I that whether or not we think it, we are all connected in simply just being. Thus, never underestimate your ability to have a lasting impact–most likely, you won’t even realize it!