Well, here goes...I'm nervous but excited. Hope to do this correctly in terms of posting my daily entries.
His name was Milt, but everyone on our street called him Sonny. He died three days ago. Lung cancer. Diagnosed only 2 months ago. I miss him. We didn't get to say goodbye. Few of his neighbors did. Sonny had lived on our street for many, many years and knew everyone - and most everyone knew him. He lived alone, but walked down the block most days to visit his girlfriend. Sonny was probably in his 60s. Weathered face from hours spent in the sun. Warm brown eyes. A smile and laugh more genuine than any I've seen. Sonny was happy, loving, caring - real. His talents knew no bounds. He was a skilled carpenter, plumber, roofer, landscaper, auto mechanic, welder.... he could do it all. And DID. He was always available to the people on our street. He might be installing windows on one house one week, digging up the lawn to replant it at another house the next, and building a porch enclosure a few days later. He gave - and gave and gave - quietly, happily, selflessly - all the years I knew him. We had our first child shortly after moving on Sonny's street and he took on the role of honorary "Grandpa". Both my children loved him but my son took a special interest because Sonny would show him how things worked, how they were put together, how to fix things, how to build things. He would give my son "treasures" - that Ben loved. An old steering column still sits in my backyard - a real prize in the eyes of my son, who plans on using it for a race car he wants to build. Sonny would stop by to visit as he took his walks and you always came away a bit more lighthearted than you were before the conversation.
Last November Sonny drove his monstrous RV in front of his house to get it ready for a fishing and camping trip he was going to take with some of his buddies up in Oregon and Washington. He was gone for about 2 weeks. I remember how excited he was for this trip. Ben went over and helped him fix up the RV to get it ready. While he was gone I thought about him often, sending private wishes for good weather, good fishing and good times. Christmas came and went - then the news - Sonny has lung cancer. Starting chemo immediately. Within a week he was gone - in the hospital due to complications. When he was released his family took him home with them to care for him. I knew...I just knew - I would never see him again. Monday, as I arrived home from work, there were cars at his house with many family members. My heart sank. News came that night from my husband - Sonny was gone.
I miss him. He wasn't my family. He was just my neighbor. But, I guess I loved him. I miss him. Goodbye my friend.