The harsh truth of impermanence


Around 10:00 on Saturday night I received a text from my neighbor.  Unfortunately it was not anything good.  Her text read “FYI: it’s happening.  Smitty has to be in Colorado on March 1.  I will stick around to get the house ready to sell.”

At first I was dreadfully sad. They have been so good to us over the years. They are just a bit younger than my parents, no children. Before we had kids, they let us borrow tools and invited us over to dinner. Once Elliot came along, Nancy often watched him for brief periods of time when we had extenuating circumstances. She brought him birthday gifts and was good to him like an aunt or something. When Isaac was born, she stayed with him so Ash could be at the hospital with me; same with Dakota. When we had to take Iggy to be put to sleep, she stayed with the boys and reassured them it would be alright. For the last couple years, she has watched our dogs so we don’t have to pay the vet while we go out of town. So, to say I was saddened is only part of it.

I didn’t realize how comforting it was to see their cars next door every day. If you have read my blog for any period of time, you may have heard me talk about the neighbors on our other side: the ones who feed stray cats. To say I hate them is a gross understatement. They will drop dead before they move.  Just knowing that on one side of us are good-hearted people who aren’t trying to screw us over is just so… nice, you know? I will be sad to see them go but hopeful that perhaps – just maybe – a family will move in.

A few weeks ago, I was lamenting the fact that my friends and I get together on a monthly basis but they all hang out with their neighbors all the time. Each one is lucky in that they moved to neighborhoods where there were kids that went to the same schools and were the same ages as their kids. They have all become friends with their neighbors by chance. I am not as big on praying as I used to be but I am really praying for a nice family next door. It’s a great house with a cute yard; please let it be good people. The worst-case scenario is one of two things: renters who are just bad people and/or people with kids and those kids are punks. BUT, I am going to be hopeful and positive.

This put a lot of things into perspective for me though. I am very hopeful that 2014 will bring with it good things. Ash is working on a new project, I have applied to some full-time online gigs, and I am excited about change for our family: Baby Girl growing older, Elliot playing coach pitch baseball, Isaac playing flag football and going to VPK… there’s a lot going on this year.

I knew they wouldn’t live there forever; they told me years ago they wanted to go back to Colorado but I always figured that we’d move to another neighborhood before they left. But we cannot control so many aspects of our lives and this is something I must simply accept. In some ways, understanding that fact and letting it go is freeing. I can’t stop them from going but I can help them pack up and be thankful I knew them. I can greet whomever moves in next and make the best of it. Maybe in a few years, once my younger kids go on to elementary school, we can start scoping other places. Maybe we won’t always stay in Tallahassee, but if we do, we’ll definitely find a more family-filled place to relocate. For now, I am just thankful to have had such good people in our lives.

3 thoughts on “The harsh truth of impermanence

  1. Fingers crossed that the new neighbours are good ones! I get that feeling of losing good neighbours – happened several times when I was a kid and I remember it as being devestating, and even as an adult, it’s unsettling to lose good people who live close.

  2. I hope you get great new neighbors. We have some wonderful neighbors, and then there are the rental units next door. Sometimes the renters are good, sometimes they are not so good. Such is the way it goes in a college town.

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