The Lives of Others

In our little country neighborhood, we enjoy watching the parade of people walk by, and the pulse of the neighborhood during different times of the year.  We watch our neighbor’s kids on their playset, the single men next door clearing their driveway of snow, and the passing parade of walkers who stroll down Mountain Road.

I also sometimes chat with Andrew, who lives at the head of the street and is often out mowing his lawn,  clipping his manicured hedges, or picking up that last leaf in the yard. Though he’s been retired for decades, he still dons his work clothes for his busy days working in his yard and on his well kept house.  I’ve enjoyed our short chats and I noticed that he wasn’t around as much over the past few months.  Then I saw a familiar vehicle, owned by Larry Wrisley, of the Wrisley funeral home, and my heart sank.  Did we lose him?

Today I was running and I spotted Larry, so I hailed him and he rolled down his window.  He explained that Andrew, who is 91, had fallen and broken his hip, and that his wife Phyllis who is 83, is his aunt.  So every day he stops by their house with the Springfield Republican for them, and to check up to see how they’re doing.

I am so pleased that Andrew did not need the services of the local funeral home yet.  As an avid obituary reader, the lives of others has always fascinated me.  I was pleased to figure out just what had been keeping Andrew from his appointed yard work rounds, and that it wasn’t the grim reaper.