There’s a wise old man that lives next door to my parents that we aptly refer to as ‘Wilson’. He always seems to poke up from the other side of the fence to provide insights, wisdom or just a happy hello when we’re out in the yard. If you’ve ever seen the show Home Improvement, you’ll understand the reference to a neighbour that shares his wisdom from behind the fence.
We haven’t seen Wilson in a few days and it’s been weird. Usually if he’s going out of town he’ll tell us so that my dad can go over and mow his lawn for him and pick the papers off his step, etc…
Wilson’s truck hasn’t been in his driveway for about a week, so today when his truck was finally in the driveway again, my dad went over to see how he was doing and ask where his abrupt holiday had taken him to.
Instead of finding Wilson, like my dad had expected, he met Wilson’s son.
Wilson has been in the hospital for the past week. He fainted in the grocery store seven days ago and was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. The doctors, while running tests, found a lump in his head, at the back where the skull meets the spine. Upon further testing/research/inspection, Wilson has been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor.
His son said that his dad doesn’t have much time left and that he won’t be coming home. Because of that, he’d come to get some of his things to make him more comfortable at the hospital.
You know, I rag on this town a lot. I do. I’ll admit to that. I like small towns but I’ve never wanted to live in one. I’ve always considered myself a city person. But today, damn. I saw the magic of a small town today.
We, before his son had even left, decided that we wanted to go see Wilson at the hospital. When my dad went back to ask his son if he’d be okay with that his son was really taken aback by the request and said we were absolutely welcome. My mom and I then went to speak with Felicia, who lives on the other side of Wilson, to let her know about what the son had told us. Felicia, as shocked by the update as we were, said she was coming with us and that she wanted to go across the street to tell Carol and Dave. Twenty minutes later Carol, Dave and Felicia were at our door asking if Carol and Dave could come with us to the hospital as well. Carol and Dave went to Wanda’s house and told her, and the whole thing sort of… snowballed, I guess you could say.
There are ten houses on this side of the block. Within two hours of talking to Felicia this afternoon, someone had come to our door from each and every one of the houses on the street to ask if they could come with us tomorrow.
I think that in itself is a testament to what a wonderful human being Wilson is and how much impact he’s had on people in this neighbourhood. I think it’s also a testament to small-towns. This man, this neighbour, he’s important to everyone.
We’ll be going to see Wilson tomorrow at 1:00 pm. And I really hope that, despite the dire situation he finds himself in, the fact that his whole neighbourhood will basically be showing up for him, brings some smiles to his face and joy to his heart. He deserves it.
My parents have lived Wilson for 12 years. During that time he’s come outside every single day to share his wisdom and stories and happy greetings from the other side of the fence. It’s amazing what such a small thing can mean to a person when you really stop to think about it.
I’m not really sure what to expect from tomorrow. I’m just sad that such a wonderful man has to struggle in this way.
Honestly, this is a tangent but it isn’t a tangent. If there’s anything going on with you right now that you think you should get checked out or that you’re worried about or that you’re telling yourself to not go to the doctor about – go to the doctor. Seriously. Go to the doctor. Find out now. It could be absolutely nothing. And, I hope and pray for you that it is nothing. But if it’s something… it’s damn sure better to find it out early.
Sorry for inserting my opinion when it was not asked for. Just please ensure that you’re looking after yourself.