Wonderful people wander into our lives. Some stay for years and some only for seconds. Each day you experience a multitude of moments that make their imprint on your life. Like a flitting dragonfly, skimming so close to the water, we traverse through our routines each day. We pay no notice to the beauty of chance instants…the instants that make us exhale, make us smile, give us joy for a brief twinkling.

Today I begin to share my moments with you. Today I promise to savor my moments.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Behind the Front Door

(Reposted from my former blog - written June 2010.)


I am really sad tonight. I have lived next door to Doc Jones for six years and have known him in passing since 1985. Yet, I had no idea what had happened to him in this last year and a half. I didn't know what was happening behind the front door that was right next to my front door.

Doc was a part-time doctor by the time I met him in 1985. He would travel out of town to rural clinics a couple of days a week. He was married to his second wife who was a former nurse in his practice. They had a child, Neil, his second son.

Six years ago I moved in here next door to him. He was divorced again. His son Neil had graduated high school and was having some emotional issues stemming from drug use and was hospitlized off and on for 3-4 years.

Doc still doctored part time and would bike ride on nature trails most mornings a couple miles from our neighborhood. As I left for work I would wave to him loading his bike onto his Subaru.

Then 3 years ago I noticed some different people around his house...a 40ish woman with a grown daughter and teenage son. (Doc was early 60s by this time.) She was a nurse from his current practice.

Then 2 years ago I noticed they had married.

Then I noticed nothing. No people. No comings or goings.

This past Christmas Doc's trademark one red porch lightbulb and one green porch lightbulb appeared. I thought ok, he's just slowing down and she must park in the back. The kids were old enough to be gone.

Then about 3 months ago I saw Doc walking kind of off kilter. I wondered as I waved and drove off to work if he had had a stroke. No, our neighbors would have called. Afterall, we have several street parties a year, make and bake Christmas cookies for our older neighbors, have hayrides and cookouts, enjoy the status of being the biggest and oldest neighborhood association in our town. If we do all that then surely a stroke would have been reported...yeah, nah, he didn't have a stroke.

Ok, he didn't. He had several. He also had his all of his money taken from his bank accounts by that third wife. She divorced him and was gone. He had to sell his house. It was in such disrepair inside that he didn't get much for it. The buyer let him rent the place for the last year. Then Doc got to the point he could not live alone anymore and his son Neil got him into a care facility. The roles had reversed.

Now, the front door next door has no family behind it. No Doc Jones. I am sad about that but sad also that the family behind my front door did not know about, do anything or care enough to find out about Doc's troubles that were all just next door.

I don't know where Doc is, but I pray for him.

I don't know who will move in next door. I know I am going to make a point to do more than just wave to them as the years go by, though.

I'm not going to miss Doc's trademark Christmas lights because I am going to put in a green and a red porch light each holiday season in honor of him.

Don't wait till front doors open...go knock!

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