Monday, January 31, 2011

Just Needed to Pop In To Tell You...

Those of you who are faithful readers of my blog will remember the incident I had with one of my grumpy old neighbors last spring.  I haven't written much else on him besides his attempt at an apology three weeks later.

There have been new stories about him that I chose not to write about here because it involved him and his next-door neighbor who we are very close to.

In summary, those neighbors were building an addition onto their house and grumpy old neighbor was concerned it would affect the value of his own home.  The city came out and assessed and determine, in fact, that it would increase the value of his home.  That point, however, did not get across to him and for four long months he has harassed every single worker who came to their home.  Multiple times he caught our neighbor, a mother of four young children, as she was going to and from her car and would verbally attack her using countless profanities.

This mother was more gracious than anyone I've ever met.  She knew his wife was struggling with Alzheimer's and was quick to point out how much stress he was under and that that surly was the reason for all of his dramatic outbursts.

This neighbor phoned me this afternoon to inform me that grumpy old neighbor had unexpectedly and quite suddenly died last Thursday.

We talked for more than an hour today about our mixed emotions.  We felt relief.  Honestly, who wouldn't?  But we felt sad too.  Sad that neither of us could ever quite figure out how to mend things with him.  He really was a stubborn old man who just didn't listen to what others had to say.

But he had a sweet side too.  One that I never knew about.  My neighbor informed me of the years before Brian and I had moved into the neighborhood.  How he brought flowers each time they had a new baby.  How he gave the children Christmas gifts and spending money for vacations.  How he would shovel their walk when, really, he was the elderly one who should have been the one being shoveled for.

I don't know what the true cause of his aggressive verbal attacks were.  I never will.  But I hope his ailing wife finds good care.  I hope his sons and daughters find serenity in their hearts.  I hope he's found peace in a better place.  And most of all I hope, I really, really hope, for a bright, shining new face to move into that house.

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