For the past three years, I have just had a peaceful existence on New Hope Drive. I knew neighbor Kathy and neighbor Suzanne. I was fine with that. Until Kathy decided to move out. Today was perhaps one of the most unusual days I have lived through. Kathy's family was next door cleaning her houseand there was a knock at the door. It was a man asking if our dog was out in the middle of the street. It wasn't our dog, so he took it next door to Kathy's house and they said it wasn't their dog but that the girl across the street (meaning Suzanne) was a "dog rescuer". Ten minutes later, Suzanne is knocking at my door saying, "Louanne I have a DOG in my garage. A golden retriever! I have cats! I can't have a dog!" So, I told Suzanne we could put the dog in our fence in the back yard until we find the owners. Rich and I trotted across the street with a leash to rescue the dog ... or, rather, rescue Suzanne. She said the man that found the dog gave her $20 in case she had to feed the dog. She was going to give us the $20. Sooooo, we begin our trek across the street and an SUV rides by, stops, and backs up and says, "Uh, that's our dog!" One of our neighbors didn't realize their dog had gotten out and they were very grateful that we had taken such good care of the dog. (that we had in our possession for 15 minutes.) So, Suzanne, being the kind-hearted person she is, is standing with the $20 bill and doesn't know what to do with it. Wouldn't you know it? The man who originally found the dog in the middle of the road pulls into the neighborhood 5 minutes later and she returns the $20 to him. And THEN, Tonya pulls up and we all have a long discussion about Kathy and her recent passing. I had never met Tonya and I really enjoyed talking to her and her girls. As everyone was departing, I told Suzanne that it was interesting that Kathy was bringing all these strangers together and that we probably would have never met had she not passed.
I went back into the house and cooked something for dinner. I went downstairs to settle into some quilting and t.v. and Rich said something. I muted the t.v. and asked what was going on. He said there was a terrible accident somewhere. It was so loud Rich heard it in the kitchen. We left the house to find that a terrible accident had occurred between two teen-aged drivers and one had lost his life. He was 16 and a high school sophomore. The horrible scene included many kids and adults sobbing, but nothing was worse than the gutteral grieving outburst from the mom and the dad. It is every parent's worst nightmare. As Rich and I served the families with water and tissues, I stood in my other neighbors' yard - Gene and Marlene - I talked with them for several hours. I would not have known them if it weren't for Kathy's passing because I had to deliver the news to them. Little by little, our neighbors walked up to the scene of the accident and I met people on my street that I had never spoken to before. I really enjoyed talking to them.
As I was totally surrounded by grief, I realized that these incidences are so surreal. You watching everything take place but not believing what you are really seeing. And you are meeting people you have lived near for three years but never noticed. Why does it take loss to recieve the blessing of friendship. Suzanne summed it up this way: "things like this bring us out of our houses and into the lives of others. that's the way it really should be." Long day.