friendship, lonliness, love, simple life

Selfish or Just Lonely? My neighborhood friend moved.

If I write about my pain you may think me a whiner.

If I write about my struggles you may think I am weak.

Why do I care…what others think about me.
Isn’t writing suppose to be healing?

Shouldn’t I think of the one out there who may read what I have to say and maybe help them? We all have struggles. We all have pain. Isn’t that what makes us human?

I live in a neighborhood that is pretty.
I live in a neighborhood that is safe.
People don’t get too nosy, or stop by without being invited.
People don’t get in your space….in your face….don’t walk on your place that you call your property.

You see your neighbors and they are friendly enough…. but no one really get’s too personal, it seems. At least with me they don’t and I get that should take time before you share too much. But when I am hurting I do. But not everyone is like me.

I can understand how we are all different. But I have been their neighbor for over ten years now. Does that mean anything? I guess too many are still working, and sending kids to college, and working on their homes and yards. Not sure.

We have garages connected to our homes. We can come and go all week long and no one would see us if we didn’t want them to, but when we were out pruning our bushes or mowing our lawns.

I am not like that.

When my husband had unexpected heart surgery….it was too much for me to bear alone.
I knocked on the doors of two neighbors I felt closest to me and told them.
They were so glad I did one gave me a huge basket of fresh fruit. The other sent a card.

I didn’t expect that….I was shocked! It was not what I expected or wanted but was grateful! A hug alone would have been great.

I liked our other neighborhood. I talked to neighbors each day. I had someone to drink coffee with, even though now I drink tea. I had a friend to greet me when I got the mail.
One was sometimes annoying, but we became good friends very quickly.

We each made time for each other, to talk of pesky squirrels or some weed invading our lawn. It did not matter but we could talk for minutes on end that seemed like seconds. Each felt a treasure in our connection and loved the time we had taken.


Our house was not as pretty, our neighborhood not as neatly manicured. There were a lot of
rental properties that were ugly. Trees were overgrown and landscapes mangled and unformed. Flowers were not as evident. Bushes needed trimming. But, people came out and garages were not connected to the homes.

My husband and I are the more social ones, in this neighborhood. Not just as we pass by. We take the extra effort it takes or no one would even know us.

We cross our lawn to intentionally pay a visit if we see someone out and wave. We will be invited to sit at their patio tables. We would enjoy a drink they had to offer. Even if they never have time to do the same. Everyone is always too busy…to really take some time.

I share my plants and raspberries. I give them garden advice. I help them find a scrapper, so their metal landscaping edging they took out, that is now piled in front of their garage, could be hauled away…even for free. (I keep information in my phone.) I am the resourceful neighbor, but not perfect by no means!

We don’t bother our neighbors excessively and respect their privacy. We are all friendly in this neighborhood, I have to say yes. Shouldn’t that be enough. Not for me I guess. Few take time to really get to know you, but will call if they need something. It takes special effort and time to really care.

Sometimes what we think of others is something that has more to do with ourselves. Or maybe what we say is true. I do find myself enjoying my quiet time and my piano more and more. I am getting used to this alone time I have. Still….I do miss my neighbor. I don’t think I ever took her for granted.

She and her husband just moved away but not far, thankfully! I said good bye last week as I know I would miss them when they closed on their home. I would be out of town. But, after all….I did get to see them but from a distance on the last day they were there.

We watched them as they filled the last trailer, but did not want to disturb them. I already said my good byes. Yet…..they were gone before I knew it! Much to my sad and disappointed surprise.

I was doing laundry in another room out of sight. My husband in the backyard filling bird feeders, I suppose. They didn’t knock on our door or ring the bell. I thought why? (Being analytical can sometimes be such a curse.)

Should I have had a party? Did I disappoint her somehow? Should I have given a gift? She is materialistic…I should have! (This reminds me of a book I read….“Love Languages”.) I did offer to help her move. I do have her email, so I can stay in touch.

I thought after ten years of being friendly…ten years of my advice…ten years of walking over, to enjoy a drink they offered….meant something to them. She reminded me “you have my email” .

Some people are really hurting I guess. Maybe this was her case. I can not know her mind. I must not think I am special, just because for me it is easy to be a friend. Some people are too busy, with all they think is great, to take the time on friendship. Other things need more attention, or they may just be feeling very sad.

Her flowers took a lot of her time. She would be working on them for hours. It really is a thing of beauty to behold if you lived here. She was a masterful artist in garden design!
Who am I to tell another person what to spend their time on? Could I be this selfish? I remember how angry my mother in law was when we moved. She lived across the street from us. I think it was more that she would miss us. Visiting her was easy.

My friend and her husband were leaving a neighborhood, they lived in for 35 years. I know her husband was ready. She was not and maybe didn’t want me to see her tears. I will reach out again, and stay in touch with her. Friendship does not keep score, who’s turn it is to do a good deed to the other. It is alright that she didn’t knock on my door.

Thank you dear friend for letting me gaze upon your gorgeous landscaping flower gardens for so many years. I could see them from my living room windows. I wished you would have had time to sit for a tea in my kitchen. You were always so busy….or else tired, or had back pain or other agony you were going through. I am sure you had many days of sadness. I knew some of your stories you told.

I must be pretty self-righteous, in all the things I think need to hear someone’s praise for. Just because I walked across my lawn to get to you, more than you did me. I must think I should get an award, how pathetic! No…..I just need a friend.

Or maybe……. I should try harder to be one. This writing….after all….is not about you!

2 thoughts on “Selfish or Just Lonely? My neighborhood friend moved.”

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