Two days ago my next door neighbour died. The cancer he lived with but more or less ignored while he went about his business fishing for salmon, working, and visiting with the street, caught up with him. Ten good years despite of it and about ten days of things going to hell.
Not bad really. Someone in the family has put one of those little signs on the door "Old fishermen never die, they just get reel tired."
My dining room window looks right onto their driveway so the last few nights I kept getting up to see if the car was there. 3:00 a.m. and she still wasn't home, bad sign. Two days still no car, not good at all. Calls every morning from the lady across the street to wake us up with the progress report.
All week people have been going in and out of the house. The funny man who won the lotto and quit work to stay at home and do what, who knows, letting himself in to make sure the dog was walked, plates being put in the fridge every night, a neighbour driving down an egg sandwich because you know what that cafeteria food is like.
Now he is gone the side door is open all day. You go over there it's like a party but everyone is in black. A lot of people around here still have wakes and that will be going on all weekend at least. I went over and talked to someone's baby while my neighbour cried in the bedroom and then came out to make tea. Someone's son doing something under the deck in the home repair department. The dog getting more walks than he ever got in his life. Some one bringing him in a marrow bone too. I was going to bring muffins but I think they have lots.
The older lady who has the two dogs she walks in tandem like a team told me her daughter suffered for 10 years before dying at 32. Her other daughter moved back to take care of her sister and that's where she met her husband, who is like a gift from heaven. The good and the bad stuff is all mixed up she says.
And she is right.