My husband Randy and I stood in line waiting our turn to view the casket and pay our respects to Bruce’s family. I looked around the room, mentally noting how grown up all of the children and grandchildren are and how many young people were there I did not know.
I thought back to the time from 1990 to 1995 when we lived across the road from Bruce and Joann. We became fast friends with them and their four children and many grandchildren. We spent many summer evenings on their porch or mine, drinking coffee and watching their grandchildren and my children play together. Birthday parties, ballgames, babysitting, meals together, and going out on the pontoon… We made so many wonderful memories in the five years we were neighbors. Joann and I shed many tears when I told her that we were moving away due to my husband’s job change.
Now here we were, waiting in line, waiting to tell her how sorry we are, how much we care for both of them and their family members, and how appreciative we are to have had the best neighbors and friends.
We finally make it to the casket. Joann looks at me, recognition dawning on her face. We hugged, cried, and held each other tightly. She talked, and then the children began talking. More hugging, crying, and reminiscing. We moved on down the line, reliving those five years as if they were yesterday. Grandchildren remembered us and shared their memories of playing in our yard or having a sleepover with my children. It was as if we had never moved away.
As we said our goodbyes, we promised to visit each other soon and catch up.
“I am going to be lonely,” she says. “I may just drop in.”
“You stop by anytime, dear friend. I will always have a cup of coffee waiting and a seat on the porch.”
Five years as neighbors/lifelong friends.