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Regret

19 Nov

When I returned from my trip to Florida, I was amazed to see that the front yard of the house on the corner was piled with furniture and boxes.  This house was leased to a young family with three little girls ranging in age from 3 to 9 years old.  Each little girl had a different father.  The mom ran a stationary business out of her home.  The resident dad went to work each day, mowed the lawn, and put together a swing set for the girls.

At first, three years ago, when the oldest girl (girl 1) came to play with the other neighborhood children in our yard, I was concerned that she was out of control.  She gathered the pebbles under our deck and threw them into our flowerbeds.  Her comments to the other children were hurtful.  And she delighted in climbing the deck railing and jumping off.  I admonished her several times and she looked at me in surprise.

When the other girls were swimming in our pool, I invited girl 1 to join them.  The rule at our house is that the neighbor children can use the pool as long as they bring an adult with them.  If I am planning to sit outside for the afternoon, then they do not have to bring an adult.  Girl 1 was delighted when I offered to walk to her house and introduce myself to her mom so that she would feel comfortable letting her daughter play in our pool.

I waited outside her house for 10 minutes.  Finally girl 1 came out and told me that her mother would not come out because she was too busy.  From that day forward, whenever girl 1 and her sister, girl 2, asked their mom if they could swim with their friends, the answer was always “no”. However, whenever my grandchildren came over, girl 1 and girl 2 played with them in our house and yard.

Gradually, I developed a fondness for both of these girls.  When girl 1 told me that she came from a broken home, I responded that she was a very lucky girl.  I remember how she looked at me in disbelief, her eyes large behind her very smeary glasses. “You have many extra moms and dads who all love you,” I said. We talked about  different types of families and how they could be just as good as the traditional family.

Girl 1 and girl 2 spent a lot of time at my house. Along with the other neighborhood girls, we all worked on craft and sewing projects. We had pizza parties and ice cream parties when the grandchildren were visiting.  Their mom stopped by our house on Halloween with girl 3 and finally introduced herself.  I was looking forward to giving free sewing lessons to girl 1 in January.

So there I stood, in front of their house.  The swing set was gone, trees and bushes had been removed, baby furniture was at the curb, and a new flag was flying from the front porch.  A woman came out of the house and introduced herself as our new neighbor.  She had purchased the house.  When I asked what happened to the family that was renting, she replied, “They moved out and left me with all this junk to clean up”, as she gestured at the mess on the front lawn.  We welcomed her to the neighborhood.  The next day, the garbage trucks hauled the junk away.

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23 Comments

Posted by on November 19, 2012 in This 'N That

 

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23 responses to “Regret

  1. Claire

    November 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Very sad story. We had a similar neighbor years ago when my girls were younger only there were six kids. When their house was sold they moved to another town. But……the girl that friended my daughter is now college educated and a wonderful young woman. Prayers to your neighbors chiildren and hopes that they are safe and happy where ever their new home is,,,,

     
  2. Tam

    November 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I am betting that those little girls will never forget you. Here’s to hoping that they will always have good women nearby who care as much to include them as you did. We come from a different generation that reached out to neighbors and worked to create relationships with people around us. I will remember these young ladies in my prayers and hope that they will grow up remembering the crafts you introduced them to and the good times you shared with them.

     
    • Wolf Crochet

      November 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Tam, you and all the other ladies who commented are so kind. Indeed, when I grew up, the adults in our neighborhood cared for every child. There were several kindly grandmotherly types who went out of their way to engage us children. The reason we were drawn to them was because they treated us like equals. Thank you for your prayers.

       
  3. melinda

    November 19, 2012 at 10:28 am

    SORRY TO READ THIS STORY. I WONDER IF MUM WAS AFRAID OF RELATIONSHIPS WITH ANY ONE.WHICH I FEEL WAS WHY SHE WAS AFRAID FOR THE CHILDREN TO MAKE REAL FRIENDS. ANOTHER THOUGHT WAS SHE RUNNING AWAY FROM SOMETHING/SOMEBODY. MY HEART GOES OUT TO THE CHILDREN AS THIS DAMAGES THEM FOR THE FUTURE. HOPE ONE DAY YOU WILL FIND OUT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED. IN THE MEANTIME WE KEEP THEM IN OUR PRAYERS.

     
    • Wolf Crochet

      November 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm

      Thank you for your prayers Melinda. I got the impression that the mom was very stressed. She was quite young and seemed to always be working. I suppose that keeping tight control of her children made her feel in control herself.

       
  4. Deb Parkman Morris

    November 19, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I understand your regret and your disappointment at them leaving, especially without you being able to tell them goodbye, and especially with the plans you had for teaching them to sew. I am glad you had to opportunity to get to know them, even just a little, and I’m sure you enriched their lives during the time they lived across from you. It sounds like they learned a little about how to behave from you and the other girls in the neighborhood. You sound like the kind of neighbor everyone needs to have.

     
    • Wolf Crochet

      November 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      Thank you Deb. Your comment and those of all the other wonderful folks are making me feel.much better.

       
  5. Rose Fernandez

    November 19, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Oh how sad for them and you!. Just remember you made a big difference in their young lives by your kindness and interest and positive direction. Who knows you may have been guided to move to that very house you are in so your paths could cross! Feel good about that and know that wherever they go, they will remember you Love Rose Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

    ________________________________

     
    • Wolf Crochet

      November 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Rose, you always say the nicest things! You have a good Thanksgiving too my friend. I hope that we will be able to walk next week. :-)

       
  6. sandy t.

    November 19, 2012 at 11:26 am

    The seeds of love you planted in those little girls will grow and I pray that they will have a kind and loving neighbor at the next house they live in. So many sad children in the same situations. I’m a 64 year old grandmother, and former foster parent, and have three little children next door to me in a very similar situation. God bless you. Sandy T.

     
    • Wolf Crochet

      November 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      It is so nice of you to take the time to comment Sandy. I believe that interacting with youngsters keeps us young! Kudos to you for providing friendship to your little neighbors.

       
  7. Linda Foster

    November 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Your message really touched my heart. I work with underprivileged children at an elementary school. Your loving friendship will be lifetime memories for these little girls. Your contact, while brief, will be retained as lasting impressions upon their lives. Please be a peace that what you shared with these little girls was priceless and most meaningful. I hope you will be able to replace your feeling of regret with one of thanksgiving that you had — and took — the opportunity to spread sunshine and love into their lives. Blessings be with you.

     
    • Wolf Crochet

      November 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Thank you for writing Linda. It was just a sad surprise to see them gone and I didn’t even get the chance to say good-bye. There are several other children in the neighborhood who come over to swim but somehow the old tribe is incomplete now.

       
  8. Debra Kirksey

    November 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    What you did for that family was something to feel very good about. You created a positive feeling that spread throughout those kids to their parents and gave the children HOPE for their future. Your influence can be forwarded to others just like in your writings I read regularly. Thank you.

    ________________________________

     
    • Wolf Crochet

      November 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      Debra, I was enjoying those girls. They played with my grandchildren and kept them occupied. They also gave me an opportunity to dust off my sewing machine. I will miss them both. I like to feel that our friendship was completely two-sided. :-)

       
  9. Anita

    November 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    How sad a tale, but unfortunately that is all too common a story in this day and age. You are to be commended for your efforts to show these girls that there can be a better life. Hopefully they will remember their “nice neighbor” and apply some of these lessons in a practical way. God bless you for your efforts and patience with these children.

     
    • Wolf Crochet

      November 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      Anita, when my girls were little there was an elderly couple in our neighborhood that spent a lot of time with them. I am forever grateful.

       
  10. Liz Hasler

    November 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    How very sad. I applaud you for doing all that you did for those girls – probably the only positive adult attention that they received. I hope and pray that their future includes someone else like you but I’m sad to say it probably won’t.

     
    • Wolf Crochet

      November 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      I will ask around and see if any of the other girls know where the family went. Thank you for your comment Liz.

       
  11. Janet McComb

    November 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    That’s so sad… will keep their family in prayer!

     
    • Wolf Crochet

      November 21, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Thank you Janet.

       
  12. Elaine

    November 21, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Sometimes our lives cross path with others just for a moment, but in that moment it’s meant a life time. God bring people together for one reason or another and maybe that family needed to cross path with you and you with them. I know it’s sad especially you were planning to teach Girl 1 to sew and you never got a chance to say goodbye, but your kindness with always be with them. Thank God for people like you.

     
    • Wolf Crochet

      November 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      You’re right Elaine. We never know with whom we might cross paths and why. Thank you for your kind comment.

       

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