Our elderly next door neighbor passed away last Friday. Even though she was up there in years it was still a shock to hear that she had died.
Leo and I had known Eunice (not her real name, but she sorta looked like a Eunice) since 2002, when we bought our house. Although I never established any sort of close friendship with her, I certainly cared for her and appreciated having her as a neighbor. Leo on the other hand, was Eunice’s buddy. He understood her and you could tell that she was terribly fond of him.
Yesterday Leo stopped next door to chat with Eunice’s daughter, who is currently staying in her mother’s home. She shared that when Leo and I first moved in Eunice called her daughter to say that a gay couple had bought the house next door, and there was no way she could live next door to gays. She was adamant that she simply had to move.
Of course Leo and I never knew this. Eunice’s daughter told Leo how much her mom grew to care for both of us, and how she thought we were two of the best people you could ever meet. To me, this speaks volumes to the importance of living one’s truth and being one’s authentic self. Leo and I, by simply being who we are with this 80+ year old conservative Christian woman, managed to change her heart without even knowing it. In her final wishes Eunice requested that Leo be one of the pallbearers at her funeral.
Thank you Eunice (not your real name, I know) for watching our house, for being our neighbor, and for sharing yourself with us. Thank you for welcoming us into the neighborhood and into your heart.
We will miss you.
Story originally posted on Jeffrey’s blog.