Here’s Wendy’s post today on the North Winooski Neighborhood Forum, titled “Casseroles”…
My dad is nearing death. His breath is labored, he is heavily drugged to keep him out of pain. We sit with him not knowing if this is the last breath. My dad was diagnosed with ALS a year ago. He moved to Essex Ctr. first of August to live in my sister’s back yard. My mother, although she knew this disease is fatal, is just now realizing how true that is. We could argue which is better- for dad to have died from a heart attack or to suffer slowly, giving us time to say goodbye. There would be no right or wrong answers.
At one time in America, neighbors rallied with casseroles when a family suffered. Perhaps they knew too much of each other’s business. But they did draw in to let the family know that even if it was just baked macaroni and cheese, they were being thought of. My church will do this. But my mom? Well she and my sister’s family haven’t gotten to know the neighbors yet. And Mom hasn’t found a church here. My sister is in between churches. There are holes in our lives. How many of us today know our neighbor well enough to rejoice in the birth of a child, or death of a parent? How many of us have worked at not knowing our neighbor- so we could just mind our own business?
I’m not begging for casseroles. Just throwing out a little insight…
UPDATE: A response from the same neighborhood forum:
Dear Wendy – I am sorry to hear about your Dad, my father died last March 1st so I understand what your going through.
I also wanted to say amen to your comments on getting to know your neighbors. These things don’t seem to happen much at all these days, I was born and raised in central VT but moved away, I have lived in a few different states coming back to vt every now and then, almost 5 years ago I lived in IL and returned to VT last Jan. to Winooski. I have been here 9 months and I have found it more difficult ( not just here but other places I have lived) to meet the neighbors, it seems we are a busy people. with all these appliances to make our lives easier and simpler and to free up time it seems has produced the opposite effect.. Our work loads are heavy and our free time ( even time we should be setting aside for family) seems to be diminishing. I joined this group a few months ago and sent in a little introduction of myself to this group and got zero reply, no welcome ( other then the ” welcome bot”). I also started going to a church in Williston, the people are friendly but I have yet to make real friends, and that takes time, I have some phone numbers of people from there and have called them to chat about spiritual things, things going on in the church etc.
I have also introduced myself to my neighbors and greeted them as I go in and out to work or church or whatever. There does indeed seem to be little interest in getting to know one other.
We are a busy people, I would encourage you to take your mother and your sister by the hand and introduce them to your friends and your neighbors, take them to your church ( if you go and if you don’t offer to pick a church and go with them), Also, if you would like to meet a new neighbor, send me a private email and I will send you my phone number and we can get together some weekend afternoon and have coffee and get to know each other, and bring your mom and sister. That goes for anyone in this neighborhood forum.