Friday, January 27, 2006

My Neighbor


I have become friends with my neighbor, Ernie, over the last 3 or 4 years since he and his wife moved in. We both are gardeners. He is far more experienced and accomplished than I, but we enjoy discussing our veggies, flowers and lawns.

Recently his wife, Susie had been having back problems, and it was determined that she should have surgery to repair it. Prior to the operation, however, a pre-surgical ex-ray revealed spots on a breast. A biopsy revealed cancer, which necessitated a single mastectomy. After some recovery time, she and Ernie took a trip to Florida to relax and kind of chill out. Four days into their trip Susy suffered a serious stroke. After the first day or so she seemed to be recovering. Then, she had an additional episode, and it was determined that it would be necessary to remove a portion of her skull to relieve pressure. Subsequently, they removed another section of her skull. Now, apparently a significant portion of her brain is effectively gone. Should she survive, she will likely be totally paralyzed. She is 53 years old. If she hadn't had bad luck over the last few weeks, she wouldn't have had any.

I can't say that I know Susie well. She has always been pleasant. She and Ernie have been consistently hard workers. When they moved into their home, it was not in good shape. It had been repossessed and left vacant for several months. The former owners had been a young couple with 2 young children, who also, as it happened, had a thriving drug franchise. A true cottage industry. It's hard to keep up the mortgage payments from jail. Ernie and Susie have made a world of difference next door. Ernie's efforts in their yard have rendered it into a sort of small park. It includes a pond, new perennials, shrubs, fruit and other trees, and the aforementioned veggie garden. They are, by any measure, good neighbors. Ernie is diabetic. I have spotted him lying face up in his back yard a couple of times, when he had worked too hard in the hot sun, and was overcome with out of control sugar levels. Ernie is about 59.

I won't make any "god" comments here, although I'm tempted.

I know Susie has a really rough road ahead of her. I wish her the best. The same for Ernie, and of course, their families.

Get well, Susie.

TLS

1 comment:

noell said...

It sounds like they've created beauty from their lives.