Monday, April 19, 2010

True Love

I love Morris and Lawrencia. When we’d first moved in they were friendly enough; they were new to the neighborhood, too. I wasn’t exactly new – I’d grown up here – and wanted things to be as they were in 1975. I expected people in “my neighborhood” to act as my family acted -- before I realized how dysfunctional we were. But Morris and Lawrencia were loud. And their kid touched my fence. And they kept different hours and valued different things. “When I was growing up, people respected their neighbors,” I said. I had this idyllic picture of my childhood; I had “boxes” for everyone and everything – the good, the bad, the happy. In my narrow vision, everything on our side of the street was good – even when it wasn’t.

When my marriage dissolved – maybe imploded would be a better word – my neighbors were there for me. It was Morris and Lawrencia who lifted me up with an encouraging word; it was Morris and Lawrencia who showed me that, while true love may not exist for me, I hadn’t been crazy for chasing the white whale – it was out there. Neither said an unkind word about anyone; they focused on their own lives and worked to make their family happy, despite things going on around them.

When Scott and I married, it all came together. My neighbors and I have mellowed with age. My husband has been that one missing piece that joins entire sections of a puzzle together. Of the friendship and kindness of those around me, I am completely undeserving. But through the actions of others I have found true love.

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