Thursday, July 10, 2008

Just When You Think You Have A Lot On Your Plate...

The Universe comes to call and shows you just how fortunate you are.

I've been stressed with being stalked by my Ex-The Redneck as she moves just down the road from me, packing up my house, making plans to build a house, and all the other daily crap that just happens.

To answer the question that's on your mind from yesterday, yes we made up. She called me before lunch and I immediately said that I was sorry that I was a grit thrower before even saying hello. She forgave me. Easy.

Yesterday afternoon, I started dinner and heard the dogs going nuts outside.

Me: Looking outside, "That'll be enough."

Isaac and Abbi: "OHMAHGAWDOHMYGAWDOHMYGAWD Somebody's here!"

Me: Looking outside again, "Enough already."

Then, Trace starts barking. She means business.

Me: Looking out the backdoor, yet again, "Oh, hi."

A middle aged man around 55 is standing by my back gate with his old greying Rottweiler that I see him walking with daily. I've seen them plenty, but we've never spoken.

I can't hear him over the cacophany of dogs, so I send them all in except for Trace. She knows how to behave.

Him: I'm, um well, I'm Gary.

Me, extending my hand: Nice to meet you, Gary, I'm Julie. What's your dog's name?

Gary, holding my hand in both of his: Um, well...(he squats down next to his dog)...his name is um, his name is Milo.

Me, reaching across the gate: Hi Milo! Aren't you a pretty boy!

Gary: I've seen you, well... I've seen you around here...and well, I want to go out of town with my son.

Me: Oh, so you're needing a pet sitter?

Gary, pointing to his head: Um, well I have a problem. I can't remember what it is.

Me: With your brain? You have a brain problem?

Gary: Yeah, well um, I can't remember very well. He holds his hand out again and introduces himself again and I do the same.

Me: Well, we can work around that. I'll get together a list of pet sitters and bring them to you after dinner.

Gary: I'll make sure the tv is down so that I can hear you knock. By the way, My name is Gary.

We shake hands again.

Me: Ok, we'll see you in about an hour. I promise, I'll come up there.

As he walks away Gary says, "Oh I remember, it's Alzheimer's."

Me: Are you on medication? I heard that there are some new ones out that are pretty good.
Gary just shakes his head.

I finish up dinner, feed my woman and tell her what's just happened. We're both tired and a tad grumpy, but I put together a list and tie up my shoes.

As we walk up the hill, I see him sitting outside in an old lawnchair and Milo is lying beside him. We wave at each other and we walk up into his yard. I show him the list with my name at the top so that he can remember my name.

Me: When do you leave for your vacation?

Gary looks down and unfolds an envelope that he's holding with notes on it, "July 12th."

I'm starting to realize that there's no way that he can navigate calling these people and setting up someone to keep Milo.

Me: "Would you like for me to call these folks to find someone for you? Oh, I have an idea. Why don't we just keep Milo for you? Then you can go on vacation and not worry about him."

Gary's face beams.

Gary: How much will you charge me?

Me: Nothing, Gary. Sometimes you just do what's right. I'm sure he won't be any trouble.

The front door opens and his son walks out. I had the impression that he lived alone and his son was coming to get him for the vacation. David is a lanky 25 year old, clean cut and friendly.

We introduce ourselves and he fills me in on the things that Gary's left out. They have been along most of the coastlines. From Oregon down to San Francisco. From Savannah down to Daytona Beach. And this year, they want to go to New Orleans and skirt the coast to Panama City Beach. This may be the last year that they can do this together.

My heart crashed into a thousand pieces.

Then Gary said, "I want to give you a hug."

And we hugged. It's a hug I'll never forget, but I bet he already has.

43 comments:

Micky-T said...

That tears my heart a bit. Wow!
Quite a bit actually.

Dana said...

Why do your posts always turn be into a bumbling Amazon woman?? You really are a special person Lynn, I think mostly because you care - really care!

Doc said...

Tears at my heart too...

Akelamalu said...

Oh boy you made me cry! That was just a wonderful thing to do for a neighbour that you don't even know.

Leighann said...

I'm smiling through tears right now.

You.
Are.
Wonderful.

SkylersDad said...

That is wonderful, you made me cry, and I love you a little bit more than I did before!

coffeypot said...

I just hope he doesn't forget to pick up the dog when they get back. Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease for everyone involved, so I’m proud of you for being so compassionate.

Manager Mom said...

That was unexpectedly lovely.

Knight said...

wow. I can't.. You're so... I'm speechless.

Tod said...

Wow, that was such an uplifting story. If only everyone could be so neighbourly.

Dianne said...

I want to hug you and Gary and Milo and ...

what a beautiful thing to do, what a wonderful way to just see Gary and never break stride and never hesitate

on a much lighter note - the Isaac and Abbi dialogue was hilarious

Lu' said...

You really are a kind soul. I know that isn't why you posted it but that says something too doesn't it.

Brad said...

I agree with all above.

You made me cry at work, dang it.

Your a good soul to be so kinda to a stranger-friend

doggybloggy said...

you make me misty so often and I am a cold and calculating emotional sort.....

Dirty Mädchen's Ego said...

This type of blog is needed as a healthy dose of reality.

Live and Learn
Breathe and Cry
Forgive and Forget
Move On and Live.

Thank you for the fabulous story. Could you give Gary a hug from me, a big ole squeeze ya like a Texan would kinda hug.

~ Fabulous Blog

Moosekahl said...

Ok...that made me cry! Thanks for the reminder.

cats in the window said...

it was the right thing to do...

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Only 55 with alzheimer's, that' too sad to start with.

(((HUGS)))

Gnightgirl said...

This. This buckles me.

Karen said...

I swear, this is the 4th post I read today where I got chills realizing just how great people are. You are very, very good person, Ma'am. I am proud to say that I "know" you.

Jen said...

Girl. . . .how do you manage to always make me cry?

You are a beautiful person.

Fu Manchu Dad said...

From the Dad in me, the Patriot in me, and the silly sentimental sap in me: You dear, are a sweet, wonderful, kind and generous woman. Of course your lady forgave you, you are a prize. Furthermore, behavior like yours is what Americans used to do every day, and what would make this world a lot better place if we would all remember how to act like that. I hope Gary's son has a great trip with his dad. He'll have you to thank for at least part of it.

FMD

captain corky said...

Very touching and it's awesome that you are able to open your heart to someone that you just met yesterday.

comfortandjoy said...

It comforts me to know that somewhere in the south in a neighborhood at the bottom of a hill the kindness of strangers still exists.

Thank you.

CJ

Nickey said...

Very touching. My great-grandmother had alzheimer's. Makes me feel good to think that she may have had a neighbor looking out for her like you.

Cap'n Ergo Jinglebollocks said...

That's beautiful. Truely. And I love the line, "sometimes ya' just gotta do what's right." I'd like to see more of that sort of thinkin' in th' world...

Mike said...

My gramma is 88 years old, and has had advanced Alzheimer's for years.

She doesn't' have a brain anymore.

But she has an incredibly healthy heart.

Just a husk.

She won't die, but it would be better for her if she would.

Alzheimer's sucks.

ambergail77 said...

You are so sweet. But it's not nice to make cry so early in the day. Gary is lucky to have you as a neighbor.

Tiggerlane said...

Glad I visited today - posts like yours make me realize that I love reading blogs, b/c it reminds me that no matter what kind of people I run into every day - there ARE people like you out there. Kind, compassionate, giving...caring.

I knew from the moment you wrote about Gary going on vacation that you were going to dog-sit. I could tell with your heart that's what would happen.

Bravo...

Spiky Zora Jones said...

girly...you are awesome. You rock. You know...I bet your girl knows she has a gem when she has you in her arms.

I have to admit, I was teary eyed. Okay a little morethan just teary eyed. I lost both of my parents...so I know how he feels. Spend time with those you love...the memories are gold.

Sweetie...even I want to give yo a hug. Come here. :D

ciao babe.

Faerie Mom said...

So glad I stopped by today. This made me cry. You are a special person not to turn your back on this poor man. He sounds very sweet. Bless you.

gary rith said...

OOOooooh!

Vixen said...

I must be terribly emotional today, that just made me so teary.

That is very sweet of you to take care of that man's dog.

Certain Magician said...

A funny, sad, touching, uplifting story, and very well told. Thank you for that.

J Morgetron said...

You did the right thing.

That's the most gorgeous story I've read in a long time.

Thanks.

Fortune Cookies said...

you have a real knack for making me cry at work! That's a awesome gift you've given David and Gary. You have some uber good karma headed your way girl!

Sushiboy said...

Wow, touching story, Its nice when we can be at the right place at the right time to really help someone out. Kudos to you for being there for them.

Biscuit said...

You're a love. All of the Gary's in the world need someone like you.

tt said...

Babygirl...**crying here*** your heart is wide open. That sounds like stuff my Dad does..he's got Dementia...I tear up when people react to him the way you did to Gary! Such a kind hearted old soul you are. Pleasure to meet you!

D said...

Excellent post.

mackey said...

You are a beautiful soul.

Anndi said...

Lynn sweetie... you made me cry and I'm not a softie.

We all come across angels in our lives, and you were their angel.

Rtigerlilly said...

Wow. I can only hope, with the greatest of hopes, if I ever find myself wandering around someones yard and I have Alzheimers, that someone even as half as kind as you, would find me too. OMG that was amazing to read. Great blog btw. I've been up all night reading and had to comment. Nice to meet you and all your readers.