Saturday, October 24, 2009


Tomorrow is our next-door-neighbor's funeral. He died Thursday morning. He was 41.

He was a CPA, self-employed. He was a husband, a dad of three elementary-school-aged kids. He was president of the elementary school PTA.

We didn't know him well. We'd see him when he mowed the grass.

Who will mow the grass?

We waved when we saw him hanging Halloween decorations over their front door. He hung a huge black bat with light-up orange eyes over their door. Now a steady stream of mourners passes under the erstwhile-playful decorations.

Who will take down the bat?

His wife, his small kids. We don't know them so well. Our girls occasionally play outside with their kids. Their younger two were the age of our two now when we moved in to this house. I keep thinking of his wife.

Their life is our life, six years behind. In six years the lovely husband will be 41. We'll have three elementary-school-aged kids. Their house is our house. Their yard is our yard. Their life is our life, just a little further along a timeline.

This life we built, we built it together. This life is too big to manage alone. It's too much.

I can't stop thinking about my next-door-neighbor. The wife.

The widow. It's all too big and all too much.

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