Was taking my walk this morning, was in spitting distance of the Post Office where I always go in and check the mail before I walk that last block home, and ran into a neighbor. I hadn't seen him for quite a while and it turns out that he's been down at Shands, which is the nearest teaching hospital, for treatment for leukemia since December. And as these things go, he wanted (needed?) to tell me the whole story, the chemo, the stem cell transplants, the remarkable way his body has responded, his hair loss, the radiation he had back when he had his brain tumor.
I don't really know this man at all. I mean, I know him enough to say hey when I walk if he's out in his yard or on a walk of his own. I certainly had no idea he'd ever had a brain tumor. But what do you do? You stand there and you listen and you nod and murmur encouragements and so forth until he's finished his story because it is his story and he's seventy-one and he got to go to a family reunion in Louisiana a few weeks ago and he was so glad of that. He's lost not only his hair but seventy-five pounds but he doesn't want to buy new clothes because he's going to fatten up again (his words) and his hair is coming back.
Lloyd is a strange little village and somehow all of us who live here feel that we have a bond, even if we don't really know each other, even if we don't even like each other that much. Doesn't matter. Here we are, we are neighbors, whether we are teachers or mechanics or retired military or staunch Republican Baptists or old hippies or black or white or young or old.
We look out for each other in some way. We stop and listen to the stories and we all have stories.
I am glad of this.
And so it is Tuesday, the first day of July, my birthday month. I am going to take a shower and go to town and shop for groceries. We are out of orange juice and bananas and so it must be done. Yesterday I broke the last blender gasket we had and immediately ordered some online. No smoothies until those arrive and I hope they arrive quickly. It seems absolutely ridiculous to me that Bed, Bath and Beyond which sells every stupid made-in-China bullshit gimmicky product does not sell blender gaskets even though they sell the blenders.
There is a great deal of stuff I don't understand and that becomes more apparent each and every day but one thing I do understand is that I am lucky to be living where I live, where we stop and talk, where we can tell our stories and listen to the stories of others, where we are, in some small ways at least, watched out for.
All right. This made me laugh.
And for a completely different video but with some of the same themes, I offer you this.
I love it, love it, love it.
I hope you do too.