arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, May 06, 2018

A Gentle Soul Passes


Last Sunday morning, I awoke at 6:00a – yes, rising at this hour on a Sunday morning IS my idea of sleeping in on a weekend — to find a township police vehicle parked in my driveway.  My mind leapt to the question, “Why? I know I had not done anything illegal the night before."  Warrior Queen had likewise retired early the previous evening.  My mind then wondered if one of our cats had gotten in to their catnip stash, commandeered one of our cars, and caused some sort of mayhem in our nearby burgh.


Although what mayhem could they cause which would upstage the conviction of America’s Dad at the county court house in this same burgh earlier in the week?  None comes to my mind. 


Warrior Queen, who had risen earlier than I due to her ongoing ankle pain issues, did not even notice the police van parked in our driveway.  She theorized that perhaps they had set up a speed trap on our busy street.  It was either this or they were in the process of cleaning up an accident on the street. I opened the front door and was confronted with a strange sight: the police were at our neighbor’s house across the street.  They had opened the garage door and had their attention turned to the ground in front of the garage and the house.


It was then that I feared something had happened to our neighbor D*.  I was relieved when I thought I saw D talking to the police.  I assumed that perhaps someone had broken into his house and everything was under control.  I closed the front door and proceeded with my normal Sunday morning activities.  Then another neighbor who had moved away last year called us with sad news. Something indeed had happened to D.


The house actually belongs to D’s parents.  His father passed away 18 months ago.  The mother was not deemed well enough to live there on her own after the father’s passing. She moved to an assisted living facility in Philadelphia, while D commuted back and forth between his home in New Jersey to mow the lawn and gradually move his parent’s belongings out.  The couple had four sons in all, but D lived the closest to the old family homestead and the job of looking after the place fell on his shoulders.


We had gotten to know D very well since we moved into our house in 2000.  Even though he didn’t live with his parents anymore, he was always willing to pet sit for us and our neighbors whenever one or the other went on vacation.  He was quiet and gentle.  In all these years, I did not recall him raising his voice in anger or saying anything nasty about anyone or anything.


He played guitar at his church and brought it along whenever he and he parents would cross the street for picnics with our neighbors.  Warrior Queen and I shared his love of Jim Croce’s music.


I had always assumed that D was younger than myself, and by younger I thought it was in years.  I recently learned that he and I were the same age.  I was only six months older than D.  I also learned recently that he had graduated from the same high school from which my mom graduated in 1953. I would have attended that high school if my parents had not moved to rural central Pennsylvania in 1970.  D and I could have been class mates had my parents stayed in Philly.


I knew that D had some health issues.  A shoulder injury was still causing him pain years after surgeons performed three procedures.  There were other issues as well, all to be expected for a man our age, but apparently too much for him to handle any longer.


The neighbor who gave us the news explained that he was one of 20 people who received a text from D at 4:15a.  The text was part farewell, part apology.  One of those who received the texts tried to reach D, then alerted police.  And that’s where I came into the story when I saw a police car parked in my driveway.

D was a gentle soul in his lifetime, which is almost an anomaly in today’s society.  His personality seemed to be out of synch with the vitriolic and angry attitudes Americans have towards each other.  Who knows if the angry times didn’t figure in to D’s decision to take his own life.


Regardless, a gentle soul has passed from our sight, and we are all the poorer for the loss.  We can only now console ourselves that D is no longer in pain and at peace.


*Name abbreviated to an initial to protect the innocent.


(Thank you for reading.  Rest in Peace, D.)

6 Comments:

Blogger Deedles said...

I am truly saddened by your loss. Hugs. Try to keep the kitties from their stash!

May 6, 2018 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Raybeard said...

Terribly distressing news, RTG. I'm most sorry indeed for you and for W.Q. Reading your posting I was dreading what was coming - and then the revealing sentence hits like a brick. What else can one say? Nothing. Yes, R.I.P. to the already much missed D.

May 7, 2018 at 12:09 AM  
Blogger Dave R said...

So sorry to hear about your friend. Suicide is a very, very personal act so many of us will never, ever understand.

May 7, 2018 at 2:14 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you, Deedles.

Sorry that my wording hit so hard, Raybeard, but thank you for the condolences.

Thank you, Dave R.

May 10, 2018 at 6:39 AM  
Blogger Ur-spo said...

that was a tender eulogy; thank for sharing it.

May 13, 2018 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you, Spo.

May 20, 2018 at 9:48 AM  

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