The Fabric of the Neighborhood
When I moved into my home 20 + years ago, the neighborhood was much different then it is today. What drew us to this house were its charm and character and wonderful yard. Ya see, I love the homes of yesteryear, you know the ones that have the leaded glass, hardwood floors, a big old front porch and a story all its own! We moved in on a chilly December weekend. It would be several months before we emerged from our cocoons.
Spring came. The house next door was abandoned. It was abandoned for seven years before a rehabber came and made it a home again. A wonderful family moved in and we became fast friends and neighbors. They are still here. My neighbors on the other side have been in Euclid for many years. The wife had been a Euclid teacher all of her career and the husband loved to tend to his roses; He would sit on a bucket and carefully prune them. They were always beautiful, and very fragrant. He has been gone for the better part of 15 years.
The neighbor that most have touched my life has lived here all her life, raised 5 children and weathered many storms. She is the neighbor who reached out as new neighbors’ moved in. She waned everyone to get to know each other as the neighborhood homes turned.
One Sunday, she hosted an afternoon tea for the ladies of the neighborhood. I attended the tea and had the best time, she had tiny sandwiches, bone china teacups and wonderful little desserts.
She had a love for her neighborhood, and as the neighborhood turned and as people moved on or passed, she knew what it took to keep the fabric going. That memory of that simple afternoon tea lives in my heart today.
On her last birthday, she turned 93. She still goes to church every morning, sings in the choir for many celebrations and funerals. She is an avid gardener and is my friend. She is a pillar in this neighborhood.
I had the chance to sit down with her a few weeks back to catch up and to talk about my re-election campaign. She waned to know how it was going and what was happening in the city that she might not know. We caught up on each others lives and after sometime, she indicated that she was getting up there in age and that her children thought it best for her to move into an assisted living facility. They were worried about her, as they do not live close. I did not like that news, but felt that maybe it was time. We hugged and I went home.
Well as you can imagine, I saw a small white truck there at the house a few days ago, and after hustle and bustle, the house fell silent. A few days later, I saw her in the driveway with her family at the house and by the time I stepped out, they were gone. I plan to catch her next time.
The neighborhood is changing once again, our pillar has gone on to a place where she can be safe and can make new friends – I can only imagine her being the social butterfly of the facility – she now has a new chapter in her life, as do we.
Here’s the realization from this one person making a difference and loving her neighbors….
The fabric of a neighborhood is its people; people like this neighbor, who has woven each of us into it – the new with the old.
Now who will be the one to continue on in her spirit for offering friendship, inviting neighbors over, meeting the new ones who move in? Looks like its up to me, and I’m up to the challenge for, and I too, love this neighborhood and my City.
Now I have to go get the vacuum – I’m expecting company!
Laura J. Gorshe