segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2020

Version 2.217

I cannot remember who was the first neighbor that I met in my neighborhood, but in the beginning, when I walked Julian, I would often run into one old lady who had lived here for decades. She spoke with a slight accent and later I found out that she was German, a holocaust survivor. She died two weeks ago, I learned today, while attending our neighborhood Christmas Tree lighting party.

There are times in which one is so busy or not wanting to think too much about things that one forgets to be present. There were a few encounters with my neighbor like that, where I can say that I was not fully present. The first one was fine, but then the second, third, and so on, were as if they were the first and I don't think I was as interested. She was very old and had beginning Alzheimer's, which I did not know at the time, but on our second encounter I knew that her memory was not good.

Her son was one of the nicest people I have ever met. Even though he lived in the Pacific Northwest, he would visit to check on his Mom. I would meet him while he walked her dog and I walked mine and he would always strike a conversation as if we were old acquaintances. How strange to be spoken to like that when one is new to the neighborhood.

My other neighbor in the back has dementia, but somehow manages to always remember me and her daughter tells me that my presence relaxes her a lot. At today's Christmas light pary, she was sitting in a car, so as to be protected from the cold and away from people, but still able to participate in the activity. When I walked to the car to greet her, another neighbor told me that she was asking about me a few minutes earlier.

Sometimes, at home, she'll ask "Where are the girls?" The girls means me and her daughter and we think that in her mind she thinks that we all live together in the same facility. And in a way we do, as we all live in the same neighborhood. Or maybe it's the other way around and this neighborhood lives in us, even after we die.

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