Life, Death, and My Neighbor

Filed under: by: sknaB nolA

Over the last three weeks I have watched our neighbor deteriorate from a cancer that attacked her liver. Last Monday Mary died.
She died in the house she lived in, literally, since it was built.
She was a warm and caring lady who ALWAYS had a smile on her face.
Mary was at our house when we celebrated the adoption of our daughter.
She and her husband Morris are like an extra set of grandparents to my children.

On Monday, the day Mary died, I spoke with Morris and he shared how it was a blessing to celebrate his wife's life and to be with her while she took her last breath. My heart does that feeling even feel? How does sitting next to someone who fell in love with you, despite your shortcomings, raised your children, stuck by you in times of hardship, and trusted you to take care of her in her final days REALLY feel?

Tonight I had another opportunity to speak with Morris. I had about 15 minutes of uninterrupted time listening to this 81 year-old man share his perspective on life. He looked deep into my eyes and said "my boy...for whatever it's worth, you have one great family. I know you didn't ask, but I just want to tell you that no matter what happens on the's what is on the inside that counts."

This coming from a man that grew up in the Depression and created his own business, raised two children, mourned the death of his grandson, fought in a war, worked for hospice, and now is absorbing the loss of his wife.

This, by no means, is some quote that will go down in history, but he spoke it with such conviction, staring right at me with a tear in his eye, that it felt like it was the first time I heard it.

He went on "to know that you live life truthful and with love to your family, friends, customers, and business partners is all that matters. Good times will come and good times will go, but to live a life of honesty...God will bless you. You promise me that you go home and give that beautiful bride of yours a big hug."

He shook my hand and held on to it a second or two longer and looked right at me and said "thanks Alon. Thanks for listening" and then closed the door.


On 10:33 PM , Shawn Passwaters said...

You ever think of selling senior life and health insurance? Good pay and Tennessee is juuuust beautiful.

On 10:36 PM , sknaB nolA said...

Not sure if I could sell insurance for a living.