Every neighborhood has a "Hattie." She is the neighbor who rocks in a rocking chair on her front porch and waves at everyone who passes by. She is the reason you can leave your door unlocked during the day for a brief period of time because you know that your house will be closely monitored. She is the person who gets your mail when you are out of town and brings you dinner or dessert from time to time in the evening just because she has extra. Hattie is aware of the events that take place in the lives of those who surround her and always makes sure that they are taken care of. She is the neighbor who loves your children and makes sure she ALWAYS has candy in a bowl for them on her dining room table. Just in case they pop over unannounced. And when your children do not pop over, she calls and asks if she can see them, if only for a minute. She is often the first neighbor to move onto the street, and in most cases, the last neighbor to leave.
Our Hattie passed away this week after an unexpected illness. And she will be missed. Especially by my son. This afternoon I will walk JP over to her house while her family is gathered there so that he can reach into his candy bowl one last time and carry home a fistful of suckers.
I was really nervous about telling JP that she died. He has spent a lot of time at her house over the past six years. I have to say, however, that his response surprised me and made me VERY proud at the same time. When he woke up from a nap yesterday afternoon, I said, "JP, remember how Hattie has been sick? Well, she went home to live with Jesus." His reaction to the news made my heart smile. Big. "Oh mommy! That's great news! I am so happy for her!" He was so thrilled that his friend was now living with Jesus. And you know what?
So am I.
“Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.” ~ C.S. Lewis