May 25

Did Someone Die Over There or Are They Havin’ A Party?

Oh how my heart is aching today.  For a few reasons.

I’ll give you the selfish one first.  I’m a horrible neighbor.  Seriously I am.  I am.  There are houses all around us and I have no idea what’s going on in the lives of these people at all.  Well, except for our next door neighbors to the left.   I’ve been so preoccupied with my own life that I haven’t even attempted to really get to know my neighbors.  Now they haven’t really gotten to know me either, but still. We wave when we see them.  It’s not that we don’t like them or anything, we just don’t know them so well.  We know the families who have kids who are our kids ages and we hang out with our church, college, and high school friends, but we really don’t know our close neighbors. Right across the street…right across the street, there are neighbors who I’ve met. I’ve even been in their home one Christmas for a party.  But beyond that, I don’t know them. An all too familiar site took place at their home.

The next reason my heart is aching.  About a week ago I saw my neighbor, who lives across the street, come home in an ambulance. When I saw the ambulance bring him home I was immediately reminded that he had cancer.  Another neighbor had told us that, but with all that was going on in my life, I never asked about it again. Seeing him come home like that took me back to the 2 times that my own Mom was brought home the same way. The days that followed I noticed a lot of cars at their home…another familiar site.  Hayley Grace, my 8 yr old daughter, asked me “Mom did someone die over there or are they havin’ a party?”  Wow. The fact that she associates lots of cars with those 2 scenarios is crazy.  But she’s lived it! She too thought it was a familiar site.  I went across the street and found out that my neighbor was dying and it would be soon.  I wrote a note to his wife offering my prayers, love, and whatever they needed.  Each time I looked at their beautiful home, I imagined the suffering going on inside.  It crushed me.

The couple who lives there, purchased their home about 3 years ago.  It was a big fixer upper.  And fix it up they did!  It was a 2nd marriage for him and a first marriage for her.  They were in their 50’s I think, I’m guessing.  They had dreams.  He died Friday.  Dreams over.

The funeral is today.

Another reason my heart is aching is for the widow who now is my neighbor.  Pray for her if she comes to your mind. Her name is Lisa.

When you look at the homes that are around you what do you see?  Some see wood, bricks, and a yard maybe.  I don’t know what I see.  When I look at someone’s home I know that I have no idea what goes on behind the walls.  There is pain and suffering all around. The beautifully redecorated home across the street was home to a dying man. I had no idea.  My eyes have been shut to those who live around me and I am embarrassed about that.  A man died this week. He was my neighbor and I don’t even know his last name.  That’s just wrong.

Yes, it was an all too familiar site.  Ambulance. Hospice. Flowers delivered. Lots of cars. Funeral.

An all too familiar site indeed.



  1. Melissa,
    I love your honesty and willingness to share. This is a good reminder for me. We know some of our neighbors, but like you said, not their last name. Our kids are friends with those next door and I shoveled snow from the driveway of the lady across the street this winter, but to really KNOW them … I don’t.
    I’ll be making a more concerted effort to love my neighbors in a more personal way from now on.
    Blessings to you today,

  2. Wow Melsa, this was beautiful and from the heart! I loved it more than any other writing you have done! xoxoxoxxo D

  3. Wendy Ledford says:

    Wow, Melsa, what eloquent words from you, that describe such a common thing we all can relate to these days. Our lives become so busy and sometimes our world becomes less focused on those so very close in proximity, yet so far from our life. Thank you for this reminder to Love our Neighbors as God has commanded us. I too, don’t even know one of my neighbor’s last name! (It is Indian and I have the hardest time remembering how to pronounce it….I am now convicted to go find out and remember it!!!) Keep writing….what a gift God has given you to express yourself and inspire others through your words. God bless you and keep you in His awesome peace and love. Praying for you always…

  4. Jessica B says:

    What a blessing you and your blog are. The Lord always seems to have a way of reminding us of what He would have us do. He also reminds us of the hard times in our lives when He was right there with us. Even when we felt completely alone, He was there.
    My husband and I seperated, sold our house and moved to individual apartments a year ago. Your post has reminded me that I am living in a bubble, coming in and going out but not seeing those around me. I pray that I am more open to what He would have me see and that I leave myself vulnerable to Him.

  5. Carole Tidwell says:

    Dear Melissa:
    You spoke to my heart today. I remember when my 44 year old husband died of a massive heart attack, and 2-3 neighbors came over to my house because so many of my friends were here. I need to be more of a neighbor. I can do this. Its just me now in my house–my girls are grown & married–so no excuses for me! I think I shall start with making some cookies and taking them to one house at a time–that will be my goal for the summer–to get to as many houses on my cove as I can–just to be a friend. Thank you!

  6. Thanks for the reminder Melissa. We really need to get to know our neighbors. Praying for you and Lisa.