Sharing the Human Spirit
My wife and I moved to the Mid-West a few years ago. We were interested to see that there was a wide diversity in the races and cultures in our new neighborhood. On our left side of our home was a nice Hispanic family. On the right was a nice young White girl and her room mate. One house down from her was a Native American Family. Across the road lived a White man and his Asian wife. Next door to him lived a Vietnamese family, and across the road from them lived a Chinese man and his wife. We became aware of the new neighbors over time, and came to know them each, as well as their unique diversity.
The couple across the road, a white man and his Asian wife, were workers for the government and had been stationed in Afghanistan for the past five years. It was often a nice conversation we shared and the fellow told us how wonderful it was not to live in a tent and eat rations anymore. We became good friends and shared tall tales with one another on many occasions. I took fresh fish that I had caught and gave the new neighbors several nice catches. They fixed and brought over several Chinese dishes that the wife had prepared for us, The wife was a nurse and one day when a bad tornado came up, invited us to go to a safe location at the hospital where she was employed.We had no fallout shelter or place to retreat and it was a great feeling of safety that we had at a secure location.
The next door neighbor, the young girl, worked during the day, and when I offered to cut her lawn and pick up the debris, she was grateful. She bought and delivered a nice basket of mixed flowers and placed them at our door. We kept the flowers for two years and enjoyed their beauty very much. Our own daughter was about her age and she reminded us of her a lot.
The Hispanic family next door, are delightful neighbors..The older mother lived with the family. The father was a hard worker and always has maintained his yard and the wife has planted beautiful flowers. It has been a showcase for the five years in which we have lived next door to them. Their grandson lives with them and always wants to cut our grass. We have given him fishing gear, games and art supplies to keep him well occupied when he is home on the weekends. The family has been a blessing to us and their pleasant demeanor, keeps us going. When my wife, and later, myself, had serious health problems, they were watchful and helpful to us. They have brought over Mexican dishes on several occasions, to share with us.
The Chinese man and his wife live one door down and always stay busy in their yard, working with their plants and vegetables. One day recently, the elderly man fell trying to move a heavy trash can and I happened to see the incident. I ran over immediately and helped the man get to his porch. I asked his wife to call 911 or that I could do this for them. She had great difficulty understanding English and I finally managed to persuade the upset wife to allow me to call for help. The EMTS got there in a short time and we were able to get the older gentleman to the emergency room. He had a severe knot on his head and needed to get checked for a possible brain injury, As it turned out, he was okay and recovered from his fall. They could not thank me enough for coming to the rescue and their son came over to thank me again. I told him that we always looked after one another on the block and that I was glad to help out.
The day after Thanksgiving, each year, I always take a nice candle over to each of my neighbors and explain that it is our way of showing appreciation that they are near by. I am always greeted with great courtesy and thanked wholeheartedly for my aromatic candle. We decorate for Christmas and usually place wreathes on the doorway. I can tell that the folks nearby appreciate what I do. Some celebrate the Chinese New Year, Mexican holidays and others do not decorate. We all get along very well and celebrate each family on the block.I have greatly enjoyed living here and having the opportunity to have neighbors like the ones in our special neighborhood. It makes no difference what race, culture or creed we all may have. We are all human beings and respect each other in the best of human traits..that of the spirit and a heartfelt sharing and belonging on this earth. It is the glue that keeps us together. It is the magnetic quality that can never be denied or removed. We are as one.
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