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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Let Me Tell You About A Real Neighbor

It was the end of 1998, one week before Christmas. A light snow had fallen and the streets were icy and slick. Boxes were stacked all over the house, baby stuff was strewn all about, and a tiny, slightly unkempt makeshift Christmas tree shown through the curtain-less front room window. This was the scene when my husband and I moved into our University Place home with our three month old infant in tow. We loved our new house, but we were overwhelmed and exhausted. It wasn't a smooth move here (fraught with delays, poor weather, and lack of sleep because of the baby).

On the first full night in our new home, the doorbell rang and there was a smiling, jovial woman holding a gorgeous and enormous basket of fresh fruits. "Hi! I'm Carole. I live across the street. I wanted to come over and welcome you to the neighborhood!"

I was overwhelmed with this old-fashioned and beautiful kindness. I nearly cried! I hadn't been to the grocery store and this fruit was so welcome. What was even more welcome was a kind person cutting through the stress and instilling the holiday and neighborly spirit in my worn out soul.

And it began--a lovely neighborly friendship with Carole. Over the years, we talked about our families, visited with each other, took care and watched after the other's home if we were away, shared our travel experiences, gossiped, and shared laughs. Carole brought my kids little goodies when she traveled to the Southwest and gave the kids special treats on Halloween. We knew that we could count on each other in a pinch. A real true neighborhood relationship. Now, that spirit of neighborliness will have to live on differently.

Carole's life on Earth ended on Tuesday after a long illness. We will miss Carole's smile, warmth, and caring. Thank you Carole, for teaching me how to be a good neighbor and friend.


Lorraine Hart said...

Oh my dear friend, how you have had to be strong through goodbyes in the last while. Let's you and me take a walk really soon.

We give thanks for having someone like Carole to teach by example. May she journey-on and be welcomed in a new neighbourhood as sweetly.

Again, my condolences Kim. xoxo

Kim Thompson said...

Thank you Lorraine. I give thanks to Carole too, and aim to be a neighbor like she was.

I had a gut feeling she'd pass when we were on vacation.

My gut is always right. Sigh.

Peace to you Carole! Peace and love to the Neighborhood.

JosephMcG said...

Thank you, Kim, for sharing your wonderful friend with us. I am honored to know about Carole and to support you in remembering her.

Mizu Sugimura said...

Thank you for sharing about this beautiful friendship whose ripples will certainly continue as such relationships do. Our sincere condolences as well.

Kim Thompson said...

Thank you so much my friends!

Stephanie Frieze said...

I wish I were a better neighbor--that we were all like Carole. You were blessed to have her as a neighbor and example.

Kim Thompson said...

Thanks, Stephanie--now I know what kind of neighbor I will be going forward!