Wednesday, August 13, 2008


it's been awhile since i signed in to blogger.
so, this post could be about any one of the many things that have occupied my time in the last months - our trip abroad, our new house, what i've been up to all summer, the coming school year, etc.
sure, all of that stuff is swirling around in my mind somewhere..but my mind is currently caught up in thoughts of how blessed i am and how thankful i should be for it all.
a little backstory...
we bought a house in a cute and older neighborhood in east sj. (fyi: this house and all of the fun/drama associated with it will be another post...someday). in this cute and old neighborhood, there are many cute and old people. they've welcomed us with open arms and, to be honest, seem pretty excited to have some younger folks on the block.
one of the people we have met in our short month here is our next-door neighbor, phil. phil has lived in this house for many (30+?) years. two years ago, he lost his wife. most times that we see phil - whether it be watering the lawn, taking down the garbage bins or just locking up before we head out - he offers to help us out, if we need it, and mentions that he is usually at home, alone, especially since he lost his wife. it breaks my heart to hear the sadness in his voice every time.
tonight, as i ventured out to the front yard to turn on our sprinklers, i came across phil, tending to the grass seedlings he planted a few days ago. we started talking about grass (kind of one-sided, since i know nothing of grass...but i'm open to learning) and the work i've been doing in the house.
as i turned to go back inside, he asked me to wait - he wanted to show me a picture of his wife. since it was getting dark on our street, i offered to come to his porch but, being the kind old man he is, he invited me inside - you know, because of the bugs. the inside reminded me of my grandparents house...well, probably every grandparents house. collections and knick-knacks and photographs and memories...all neatly laid out on every possible surface. he took me around his living room, kitchen and sitting room - showing me pictures of his late wife, his children, his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren. as we walked and admired the pictures, he told me that his wife was always the one who kept the house in order - who updated the pictures in the frames, who did the decorating, who put things in their place - and he was trying to keep it just how she would have liked it. phil walked me to the door and, again, offered to help - if i needed it. i told him we'd come by again...and have him over, once things were a little more put together.
as i closed the door and walked across the grass to my own yard, i couldn't help but think about what he had said, how he wanted to keep it just as she has kept it. it was a thought that brought mixed emotions - happiness that he was surrounded by so many memories of his life with her, but also sadness that no number of objects/photographs/things-in-their-correct-place could replace the hole left by losing someone you love.
as i write this, my eyes are welling up a little bit (sorry...the tears come easy), just as they did when i walked across the grass to my house. visiting with phil did break my heart a little bit...but it also gives me cause to reflect on how blessed my life is and how i should be thankful for all i have. while i get upset about 'losing' my husband to three week business trips, there is always the promise of him coming home to me again. my struggle with 'losing' matt to samsung-korea is only temporary and visiting with my new friend, who has permanently lost the one he loves, has given me some much needed perspective on how fortunate i am to know that our separation is not for long.
this was probably a little too long-winded. oh well, i guess that's just me. but the point i hoped to make is this - it's good to be reminded of how blessed i really am. sad to say...i forget sometimes and end up in the land of 'poor me'. i'm a lucky girl who is so fortunate to have a loving (albeit sometimes overly-travelled ;)) husband, wonderful family, incredible friends and, now, supportive neighbors. :)
happy week, friends. :)