Monday, September 13, 2010

Neighbours

I have lovely neighbours, well mostly. I live in a quiet street with a wonderful huge park at the end of a dead end street.

There is Don & Mardge who live directly across the road, they are in their 70's. Marge has colon cancer and after being in remission it has returned. She has just completed a course of radiotherapy and it has hit her hard, just like it did Max. As I was putting the pram in the car on Friday preparing to visit my Mum, I waved at Don as he was bringing in his bin and asked how Marge was going. He crossed over the road and told me she wasn't doing very well. She is not eating, she can't keep anything down he said. I felt for him, he was on the verge of tears. All the feelings I had when Max went through the same thing rushed back to me. I wanted to give him a hug. Instead I told him what my GP told me when I went and saw her, crying that Max was no longer eating. "He will not die of starvation" and it was true. It's horrible watching your loved one not being able to eat a thing, I think the worst part is that you feel so helpless. And that is exactly what Don said. A couple of weeks ago I took her over some minestrone which she managed to keep down then. Then I took them over heaps of left over food from Bubbaboos birthday, even if Marge wasn't going to eat it at least Don had a couple of meals out of it. That night I took them some chicken and corn soup that I had made especially for Marge and also took her over heaps of vomit bags I had left over from Max. Hoping she wont need them after the chicken and corn soup I made but well there are no guarantees with these things. There were so many stages through Max's treatment where the vomit bags were his best friend, we even nicknamed the Vommy. We had them floating all over the house "just in case" I still have one in my car. They are both very grateful, and I am just happy to be able to help them because I have been there.

Then there is Eddie who is 87 and lives at the end of the street beside the park. He is a sweety, he often walks past with his Jack Russel and stops to have a chat. I hear him driving up the road every morning to buy the paper in his old rattling VW Beetle. Earlier in the week I realised I hadn't heard or seen him for a few weeks. Then on Friday not long after chatting to Don, Eddie walked up the road with a walking stick. He waved hello and I asked where he had been. He told me he had been hospital because he fell off a stool and hurt his back. He excused himself for not stopping to chat but he had a bus to catch and off he went. By then I had packed the car got Bubbaboo in and was driving up the road and I caught I up to Eddie, I pulled down my window and asked where he was going. He said he was going up to the local shops I told him to jump in and I would give him a lift. It was only two bus stops away and he looked like he was struggling walking with his stick. He told me he just had to go the newsagency and then go home so I told him I would wait and take him back home he was only going to be there for 5 mins. When I drove him back home he told me his car had been written off hence why he was catching a bus. I asked whether he went up to get his lottery tickets in. "Oh yes" he confessed "I get them every week" I chuckled to myself and thought what is it with old people who religiously buy their lottery tickets? And you know what? It's the oldies that always win. When he got out of the car, he said thanks so much and that he really appreciated it and that he owed me a favour. I told him he didn't owe me anything and any time he needed a ride he could just ask.

Then there is Grant and Melissa who have two young boys. They are lovely, I was joking with Grant one day I needed to change my light globes but 2 had gone out and I was waiting for the third to go out so I could change them all at once to save me pulling the ladder out again. He had his ladder out on the weekend so he sent his 12 year old son over to see if he could change my light globes. So sweet.

Next door to them is Hugh who I have never met before, but he came to my fundraiser with Grant and the kids. He came up to me during the day and pointed at the photo of Max I had up that day and asked did Max ever work for a particular company. Yes I answered, you wouldn't believe what a small world it is but back in the 90's Max was Hugh's boss. He lives right across the road. Max taught Hugh how to play computer games at work, what a great boos hey? Max would have loved to have known he was right there.

Then there are the neighbours who are two doors down, who helped Max after he had his fall that time and broke his humerous bone. They are always asking how I am and how Babbaboo is.

THEN there is the witch directly next door who has obsessive compulsory disorder. She is a real sticky beak and I am sure she is a compulsive liar because some of the stories she has told me in the past are just unbelievable and she has told other neighbours different things. She lives with her 30 something year old son who has mild autism. He is lovely. But she is always yelling at him and putting him down, it's horrible I feel like yelling at her! Last Christmas they saved a 6 year old Labrador from the dog pound. Three months later the dog was dead. We didn't know this until our landlord had been chatting to her and she told him that she thought that the dog had been poisoned by humans medication. My first thought when he told me was Oh gosh I hope she doesn't blame us.She is that sought of a person. Sure enough that week we had the RSPCA at our door asking questions. She knew what we were going through and that Max was really unwell. Max was really annoyed but I was really peeved. How could she blame us ? Us, animal lovers who would have a menagerie if we could. Well there was no proof. We used to be friendly with her say hi that sort of thing but always kept our distance, but not any more. She always tries to get my attention and I totally ignore her. It was the last thing we needed on our plates whilst Max was so unwell.

On the other side of us we have new neighbors who moved in on the weekend. I waved hi yesterday,  I hope they are friendly.

When I was working I never used to interact with my neighbours it was usually leave for work drive home close the door and it was just Max and I in our coccoon. But now that I am home and have Bubbaboo, we are always outdoors either going to the park or in the garden or off to somewhere. I get to see the neighbours more often

I don't really know how long I can afford to stay in this house, but it is one of those decisions I need to make soon. When Max and I moved here I didn't like it, I felt like I was so isolated. I am far from my parents and most of my friends live on the north side where I grew up. I am close enough to my siblings here, so that is a positive. The side of the suburb I am on is lovely and quiet and the huge park at the end of the street is great and I use it with Bubbaboo often. I am just worried that if I move due to affordability I may have to move further away. I need my family and friends. I feel like it's a big effort for them to come and visit as it is if I am further away I will surely be forgotten.
Well that was a long and rambling post that started in one place and ended up somewhere completely unexpected...blaaah well that is the way my head is at the moment....EVERY WHERE but the bottom line is......It's a decision I need to make, but don't have the energy to think about it right now.

Have you had to move away from family & friends when you really needed them, how did you cope?

I am going away for a few days this week with Bubbaboo, meeting up with some wonderful online friends who have bubs the same age as Bubbaboo. I am really looking forward to it. Bubbaboo and I really need a change of scenery and some interaction with Mums and Bubs will be perfect.

5 comments:

Miss Ruby said...

Vee that must be so hard for you, even considering having to move away when you need the support now.

Do you rent or own [as in paying off a mortgage - it would be great if you DID own tho lol].

If you rent are you getting rent assistance etc, all the possible entitlements you can?

I really hope you don't have to move for many reasons actually but most of all because it sounds pretty bloody nice where you live!!

Enjoy your time away!

xx

maytey said...

It is very obvious that you are a very good neighbour yourself :) Glad that you have such lovely people around you, except for the witch. How did they get rid of the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz again? Those people always seem to be the closest geographically.

If you do decide to move, I know you will make friends with your new neighbours quickly, not to mention all the regulars with bubs at all the new local places you will be going on a daily basis.
xx

DaisyGal said...

Your heart is SOOO big, look at you, taking such good care of others, even in the midst of your "stuff"..you really are amazing Vee.

I do hope that you get to stay put, or at least to move somewhere that doesn't take you farther away.

have a good weekend, a good trip...hoping the only memories you make are happy ones

Lut C. said...

Moving away is a tough decision.
New neighborhood means new people, getting to know people, telling your history - or parts of it.
There's a certain level of comfort in staying - except from those certain neighbors you'd rather be without.

Bea said...

Well, there are a couple of kinds of "needing" people. There is emotional support and practical support. Practical support needs physical closeness. Emotional support is possible from a distance, as you well know! But I suspect you need the type of support that comes from physical closeness, or at least that you need a proportion of that, and preferably not less than you are getting now. So it's a tough one.

Definitely chase up to see if you are getting all types of assistance.

Suspect there's not a lot of fat in the budget - you still want a room each, maybe could downsize/lose the backyard as long as you still had a park nearby, but would it help reduce costs whilst staying in a desirable location? What are your options for increasing income, and how does that work out with childcare? Any creative options available (share arrangements with family, etc)?

If you do have to move, it would certainly be a shame to lose those great neighbours, but as others have pointed out, half of that at least is your doing, not a magical combination of people, so you could have great neighbours again at the next place.

Bea