A few nights ago Erron woke up in serious pain at 1:30 am. It became obvious pretty quick that we would not be going back to sleep. His kidney stones were back. After the last time, I learned to be more sympathetic, kidney stone are no joke, and it took less than 15 minutes before I decided to take Erron to the ER. I was in a bit of a crunch because there was ice and snow all over the roads. Our littles were tucked in their beds and our family was over an hour and half away in good driving conditions. So…I did the next best thing. I called my neighbor down the street. She was at our door in 5 minutes.
I have always had good neighbors. Growing up I lived on this amazing street with a ton of kids who had great moms. In elementary school, we’d all be outside, rollerblading or playing in the creek behind our house. Such fun memories. When we got a little older, Abbey’s family moved in across the street and a sister friendship began that is still going strong today. Her mom became my second mom. And when Shep had his accident my mom ran next door and got a neighbor to keep an eye on Charlotte while we met EMSA. She put her reassuring hands on my shoulders and murmured positive thoughts as I stared down at the paramedics on the floor. Good neighbors are a god-send in times of crisis.
After we got married, Erron and I moved away to Dallas, and bought a home in Lake Highlands, where we didn’t know anyone. But eventually, I began to realize I lived next to some of the sweetest, most down to earth people in Texas. We had a fun couple across the street with a boy Shep’s age. She and I would spend hours in my front front yard letting our kids play until our husbands pulled up and we remembered we were supposed to feed them dinner. The family right next door was about 10 years ahead of Erron and me. They became our family. I knew these people were the real deal early on when I banged on their door hyperventilating after I had an unfortunate meeting between my ring finger and the electric hedge trimmers. Sara answered the door in the middle of coloring her hair and her sweet husband drove me bawling all the way to the ER. He spent the entire drive trying to console me over the (minor) damage to “my prettiest finger.” (The one with the diamond on it. Obviously.) A few years later their two daughters became stand-in aunts to Shepherd, then later Charlotte. Their mom, Sara, gave the most practical advice about basically everything. Leaving them left a big hole in my heart.
Now we’re in Edmond, coming up on a year this March. Erron and I are both still getting our footing. We’ve obviously been distracted this year and haven’t fully found our people yet…but we’ve discovered our neighbors. I guess from having such fond memories of growing up around friends, and then knowing what it’s like to not live near family, meeting the people on our street become my mission. As one kind neighbor put it, if we live nearby, I will pursue you, and pretty much make you be friends with me. But there is such comfort in that, especially if you don’t have family in the same town. And as luck would have it, our neighbors here are pretty great too. They have crawled through my doggie door to feed Gus when we were stuck in Children’s Hospital in Tulsa, played in the snow with our kids, and now, shown up for us in the middle of the night. It makes me feel safe and fortunate to live next to people like this.
Erron dreams of living on land someday but I think he underestimates my need for people around me. We’ll have to cross that bridge if and when the time comes. Until then, come on over, bring your kids…and if you need someone to watch your babies in the middle of the night when your emergency happens, you can call me.