Monday, August 04, 2014

Habit..routine.. good bye friend...

When one goes thru each day of our lives, we do certain things.
Some of it is a routine, some call it a habit.. We don't give much
thought to it..... until the reason is gone.

I have found myself on this day (Wednesday July 30th) looking
over at my neighbor's house every time I stand at my sink.  I am
not a nosey neighbor.  Just it is a habit.. looking for her lights.
In the past years more so than before.  One does it out of natural
instinct. But in the past few years it has been a habit of concern.
If the lights were on, at a dutiful time.. then we knew she was ok.

If the blinds weren't open by, say 9am.. we would be concern. If
they weren't by 1pm.. we were worried. Then a phone call, just to
know everything is ok.  She knew to call if she needed something.
And she often did.  But one never knows.  And I have made that
call twice over the years.  Hearing her voice and knowing every
thing is ok. Apologizing for not opening the blinds.. fell asleep.
Didn't sleep well the night before.

The other part of my routine was for the past 2 years, was to
get the mail (we have post office service only) and then take
her's to her. Taking the dog over with me.  Giving her the mail,
she would pat the dog and give treats... and we would talk. Some
times for a few minutes.. some times longer.  Then she got me
hooked in the past year on her dumb soap opera. Young and the
Restless and Bold and Beautiful.  But we would spend time talking
about the plot, and some times laughing when one of us would
say what we thought would happen. Jesting about how we knew
because we told the writers to write it that way. And when we were
surprised at the plot (which was rare), we give the other a bad time
of not knowing what was going to happen... saying well we let the
writers do it this time, and look how they did it.  She would tape it
every day. She use to do it because she would fall asleep or she
would be gone.  But the last year, it was because she would fall asleep.
But then she got me hooked, and so she would wait and watch it
when I was there.

It started innocent enough.  See her eye sight was getting worse, so
couldn't read the paper anymore.  So I would take the Daily Bee
over and read her the highlights and the letters to the editor which
we would  laugh or couldn't believe some of the letters.  She felt
bad about me having to read everything.....
so I had her .. in exchange, tell me the goings on
on the soap opera.  That lasted about 6 months.. then she would
say, well, you got to watch this.... Some of it I suspected, was
because she got lonely.

But now I look over there... out of habit.. and it is sad... just the
lawn and the house.. no lights.. no activity...  Makes me sad.
At first when she passed, it wasn't too bad. As there was a lot
of activity, and the lights were on a lot.. as her daughters, clean
out a life time of possessions..... deciding what to keep, what to
sell, and what to get rid of.  We had our old pick up on the back
lawn, so they could throw the bags to get rid of, and the King would
take it to the dump.   But now we have our truck back at our house
and there is just the empty lawn.  Even all the spinners and lights
I had put up on shepherd hooks for her to see.. are gone. I have them here in my back yard now. 

The girls have left, they have taken her with them, back to the land
she loved.  Leaving her childhood memories behind.  She was a live
wire.  Her sisters talk about how active she was.  As a teen and as
an adult with her family. And when she came back 12 years ago, to
the town of her childhood, she once again was active. Lions club,
Senior Citizen store, playing cards with at least 4 different groups.
Dabbing in the Kootenai Women's club.  Connecting with child
hood friends,and her family who still lives here...(all who were very supportive thru her fight with Cancer). 
Lunches, Always on the go.  She was opinionated,
she was strong in her love of the Democratic Party.  Never one to
back down from a discussion. But also a kind hearted, giving
woman.  She would frustrate the daylights out of us.. but made
us laugh as well.  A dry sense of humor.  A sense of fair play.

As she fought the battle of cancer for 9 years.. going thru as many
times of chemo, always had the fight to live.. bouncing back and
then back to fight it again.  You had to admire her courage, her
determination, and yet she could joke about her chemo brain, when
things didn't come to mind.

I miss you, my friend... I see the empty lawn and house, and
sadness lays heavy on my heart...  God Bless.. and keep you
Marlene... on your journey to your favorite place on earth,

and as you rise up to heaven.  I will miss you dearly. 

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