He loved the Yankees and the Jets.
He loved his dog, Maddie.
He loved his wife and two kids.
That was really I knew about my neighbor.
I watched him fade.
But never the love for his family or the spark in his eyes.
And then he was gone. Gone? No…there wasn’t anyway.
The man who cooked out in the backyard? Who hosted the block party?
But he was.
His daughters didn’t understand–they were always told he was sick, really sick. Not that he was going to die. They didn’t go to the viewing. They’re quieter now, their eyes faded.
His things are gone. All the sports team memorabilia, his computer, his desk, his wheel-chair. Even the dog. Poor Maddie, put down because of her misery.
All that was left were the photos. The Disney ones. The Robert Downey Jr. photo with the girls stuffed animals. And the beautiful picture of them all together on the beach–but even that is gone now. Taken down from the wall and stuffed in the attic.
Death has taken it’s toll. And even though I’m the neighbor. The one who cat-sits. The one who baby-sits. I see it. It’s taken it’s toll on me.
This is a true story based on my neighbor who died of ALS three years ago in September.