Louise

Our next door neighbor is Louise, Dave met her first.  He talked to her quite a long time while I was arranging my closet.  When he came home he did not say much, though he thought she was nice.  One of the reasons I love Dave is that he is usually trying to make me or someone else laugh. I noticed he was not smiling when he had come in the door, and got some

water to drink as he sat in his favorite chair. I always say that I am going to throw it out, but I never would.  It doesn’t look too bad as long as I keep it clean by spraying some magical cleaner that does work. I also put a nice throw on it which makes your eye look at that instead of the chair. I was still working on the closet and noticed after awhile that he had not said anything for

some time, he was not even playing with Minerva our dog. I came out of a heap of clothes and said “is there something wrong?”

He looked at me  that’s when I knew there was a quite a lot to tell  about our 81 year old neighbor. I said ” did Louise say something that bothered you?” He looked at me with his kind eyes and said “no” I went about trying to clean the closet according to colors this time and turned on the radio. When I was about done I did not see him watching the weather channel which is where I find him

doing often. We had heard there might be a storm aiming at Port Jervis again.  He knows I like to tell Marsha when that happens, it seems to delight her. I yelled over “is there going to be a storm?” I did not hear the T.V. on as I walked out past his

office to do some laundry. I still did not see or hear him, then I looked outside and saw him picking some star fruit from one of

our beautiful trees that are in the yard. Our yard Is about 3 acres big and the man who first owned it had only planted exotic fruit and flower trees. We fell in love with that property first then the house. He had one of those weird fruit pickers so he could

get to the ones we could not reach. He said” I’m going to take some over to Louise, she loves them” as he headed back over with his basket almost full. He came home a few minutes later and I could see from his face that he had something to tell me.  We

went into the kitchen and I poured him his favorite coffee as we sat at the table with Minerva on her daddy’s lap. I poured some

for myself as he started telling me what he had learned about our energetic neighbor who seemed to still enjoy gardening. I asked ” well what is her story?” It seems that 4 years ago her son had been run down and killed. After mourning him for 2 years

her husband died. I didn’t  interrupt  him I sensed  that there was more to come. Her son had worked for NASA and that is

where it had happened. He had gone through a divorce and had a couple of children, who I felt Louise does not get to see much

of, if at all.  I went over with a plant the next day so I could meet her for myself. She liked the plant and wanted me to bring it

in instead of outside so that she could look at it.  I liked her right away as she gave me a piece of coffee cake with ice tea. I told

her my story which paled next to hers I would soon find out.  She showed me around her lovely home filled with plenty

of memories.  She opened a book devoted to her son and only child Andrew, she had every right to be so proud. He was not only

handsome but also had a brilliant mind.  He went to Fl. U. and then went into the air force where he worked on the engines of B52’s, after  that he was hired by NASA and was a rocket scientist there (yes a rocket scientist!) I told her that I could tell she

was very proud of him and had every right to be.  She smiled at me and said ” you can tell about the future Nancy.” She knew

my secret without being told. Yes I knew the end of this story before Dave had a chance to say it, I already knew that this very

brave soul knew who had done this. It killed her husband with that knowledge, but not her. She gets through life by having a

routine to her life. My sister does this too so I understood how well that can be for some people. It takes their mind off of awful

thoughts that might haunt them. Louise works in her garden and then goes out with a friend for lunch or shopping. By late afternoon she gets tired and takes a nap. She is Catholic and goes to church after her nap on Saturday. Then she goes into the

temperature controlled mausoleum where both her husband and son are and prays. I think she goes there more often than that.

It gives her a sense of peace. Yes Louise I understand that need very well . NASA I’m sure also knows what happened to her son but are covering it up. We have a lot in common, but mine pales next to her story. As I said she is very strong ,

she just says that she does not celebrate Christmas anymore. You are very brave Louise and a wonderful neighbor. She will stay strong. I think she worries more about me then herself, she could tell that  I wasn’t.

 

 

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