Our neighbor Sue has moved to assisted living.
When she and her husband Leo came to our neighborhood, she knocked on everyone’s door to introduce herself, much as if she were running for office. In fact, her nearly one hundred neighbors would say that’s exactly what she was doing.
Sue became our “mayor.” Before we knew it, she had formed a committee to lobby the city and our neighborhood streets got repaved. Soon after, the town aborist checked our aging trees and planned replacements. Sue was our organizer.
Sue reigned at our twice-yearly neighborhood block parties,
bringing updated lists of addresses and introducing new residents. She was a force.
A few years ago, Leo died. Shortly thereafter, Sue began to lose her vision and she developed other health problems. Her grown children and grandchildren didn’t think she should stay in the house on her own, and eventually she gave in. Two weeks ago, she moved.
I got Sue’s address and wrote to thank her for all she did for us and to tell her that we miss her. She replied that she had loved living in the neighborhood, watching it come together, introducing folks to each other. She added, “ I am sad to leave and I envy everyone of you.”
Neighborhoods turn over, but somehow Sue’s departure is different. It is a loss for us all.