Apt 14.

June 25, 2010

I’m writing my first blog post from the new apartment, where I’ll be joined by three other gal pals in a couple weeks or so.  In some ways, it feels like college again (having roommates, friends living on the other side of the apartment complex); in other ways, I’m reminded I’m definitely not a collegian anymore.  :]

The first week here, I left my neighbors (those next-door, right-below, and diagonally-below) greeting notes, but I only heard back from one.  He’s a public bus driver who’s currently unemployed because of a disability.  He left us a card, so I have yet to put a face to him, but he seemed friendly and only asked that we don’t slam the door like the other neighbors do.  As for the rest of the neighbors, I sadly thought they might be very private people … or maybe they already hated me because maybe I made too much noise as I was moving in?  I had no clue.

Today, as I was walking up to my apartment after work, I spied my “right-below” neighbor in her patio, watering her plants.  I smiled and waved, and her voice crackled, “Oh, stay right there!  I need to talk to you!”  Her short white curls quickly disappeared into her home.  She took a good minute to get to the front door, during which time I debated in my head whether her tone was friendly or hard.  It was something of both.

She met me at the front door, and we must have talked for 20 minutes.  In those 20 minutes, I found out her name is Bobbie, she’s 82, and she’s diabetic.  Two weeks ago, her son (who lived with her) died suddenly, and she found him on the floor.  He spent the last two years of his life in pain as diabetes took its toll.

She kept telling me, “I’m grieving, but I can’t cry!” all the while swabbing her dry eyes with a crumpled napkin.  I can only imagine; she found her son on the floor, called 9-1-1, and cremated him all within a few days.  Then I found out that she had a mini-heart attack last week because of all her pent-up emotions.

“So that’s why I haven’t been able to respond to your card.  I didn’t get back ’til yesterday, and I can’t climb the stairs to your apartment; my wheelchair doesn’t make it up there.”

She doesn’t understand why she outlived her son.  She thinks it might be due to the “damn 20 pills” she takes a day.

I didn’t get a chance to ask her directly, but from what I gathered, I don’t think she knows Christ.  As she was reflecting on her health and age, she said, “I don’t know why I’m still alive.  Maybe I’m just not ready to die. Maybe there’s some unfinished business I need to tend to before I go.”

I guess I’ll find out soon enough, but maybe it’s the Lord’s business.

A stack of free cookbooks and a hug later, she said to drop by or call whenever.  I think I will.


7 Responses to “Apt 14.”

  1. michael chung Says:

    aw good story. you totally would send greeting cards to your neighbors. i’ll send you an email updating life sometime soon!

  2. Cassie Says:

    WOW Letitia! God is so faithful to give you opportunities wherever you go. I know you are faithful to follow up with them, too. ❤

  3. tia Says:

    can’t wait for the update, mike!

    cass, He definitely makes it clear, doesn’t He? :]

    please pray for bobbie with me … ❤

  4. Ramsin Says:

    if only all neighbors were as you are, then the second greatest commandment might not be so overwhelming.

  5. keziahkim Says:

    =] super warmed my heart…i am thoroughly encouraged ❤ excited to hear of how things go!

  6. court Says:

    Can’t wait for life at Apt. 14 to start.

  7. tia Says:

    court, i can’t wait for you to come up and live next-room to me. didn’t we used to dream about being neighbors and borrowing sugar from each other? hahaha. now we’ll get to SHARE sugar. how ’bout that. :]

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