Here we stand, at the precipice of a new year, all things bright and shiny. Nablopomo is challenging us to blog on every day in January the subject of "Friends". I resolve to post every day.
Last night we had our friends and neighbors, Bob and Nancy over for supper. They are wonderful people, the kind you always want to have as friends but often don't. They are older than we are, although their youngest daughter and my son went to grade school together. (That only tells you what a late bloomer she was and nymphomaniac I was.) lol She and Bob built the beautiful home they live in when their kids were young. They are both well educated and infinitely compassionate...the kind of persons I have always aspired to be, but rarely am. And ever since we moved here, she has shown herself to be everything a good neighbor should be. She welcomed us with a pie and their phone numbers. She organized a block party that first summer so that we could meet the other people who live on this road. They have had us to their house on numerous occasions in the five years we have been living here. We dog sit for each other, we loan books back and forth that we've loved, and we help each other whenever necessary.
When the winds knocked down trees and limbs all over their property, my husband was over there helping with the clean-up. When our little dog ran away while still under the effects of sedation after being spayed, in the middle of January, they were out with floodlights helping us look. They have invited up to their church and we have gone and enjoyed ourselves immensely. We have hunted mushrooms together and picked blackberries and done all sorts of things that neighbors do. When we have extra eggs from our chickens, they go across the way to their house. Sometimes I make extra soup or some new recipe for something or other, and I take it to them. She does the same.
We are watching them pull together like nobody's business as he suffers the debilitating effects of Parkinson's...keeping an eye out for him as he tries to still do things outside that he probably shouldn't, unable to do more than shuffle sometimes as he tries to walk across the yard. Suffering the side effects of drugs that cause him to sometimes hallucinate, or lose all his motor coordination, or be so disoriented he no longer knows how to get from the shed to the house. It is heartbreaking, and at the same time it is amazingly tender, like the moments where she has to cut up his food and watch him as he tries to feed himself.
Man is a social animal...we need each other. We need friends to show us how to get through the good times and the not-so-good times. We need friends to laugh with and cry with, to break bread with, and sometimes just to ring in a new year...with hopes for a little easier road and with gratitude for the people in our lives who touch our hearts.