Be a good neighbor.

Milwaukee River image by TTQ cc
Milwaukee River image by TTQ cc

Be a good neighbor — Re-visited one year later.

Today is the one year anniversary of my first regular post on The Tromp Queen blog.  Click on “Be a good neighbor” here or above to read that post.

(The VERY first one was called “Apparently I can be talked into starting a blog but I don’t really count that one since it was mostly just an announcement of my presence and intentions).

It is also the two-year anniversary of my dad’s death.

I wrote a post about my dad last May as I contemplated Father’s Day without Dad.  The post is “Missing Dad.”

A year later — I’ve written 140 blog posts as The Tromp Queen.  I have 200 followers here.  I’ve made new friends and have enjoyed this whole blogosphere more than I ever imagined.  I recently started a recipe blog, called The Heat is ON!  My family endured a year cram packed with changes.  New job, new city, new home, new schools, new neighbors — new practically everything.

Some things never change.  I still miss Dad, and I always will.  The events of that day and the week after feel simultaneously quite recent and a long time ago.

Thank YOU for reading, commenting, following and most of all for caring.  I hope you’ll continue to hang around for rest of the journey.

It means more to me than you know.

Be a good neighbor.

image by The Infatuated via Flickr CC
image by The Infatuated via Flickr CC

Our elderly neighbor just brought a newspaper clipping and a plate of WARM chocolate chip cookies to my door. She said she appreciates the help we give her by clearing her sidewalk and driveway when it snows.

I gave her a hug and a hearty thank you. She said, “Thank you for being a good neighbor.” Tears sprang into my eyes.  I choked back the tears as I tried to squeeze out the words to explain why I was crying.

I’m not sure she understood. I think she was more than a little surprised by my tears. Those who know me well are not surprised by the tears, though!

I decided to use this, my very first blog post, to reflect on those tears.

Today is the 1 year anniversary of the day my dad died. He was the youngest of 8 children and was born just a couple of years after the Depression hit. He always felt not quite good enough. He felt that he was from the “wrong side of the tracks.” His brothers and sisters were all “smart as a tack” and loved to laugh and eat. Most of all, they loved each other and the whole family, too.

When he died last year, he was the last of the original Sligers. I have thought about him all day today sitting around in heaven somewhere with all those people and with other friends from long ago — shooting the breeze and laughing their heads off.

The Sliger family rules, according to my Aunt Ruthie (who died a little over 7 years ago) were simple and few:

  • Always vote.
  • Be a good neighbor.

The unspoken rules were there too:

  • Go to the hospital and stay there when someone you love is there.
  • Home made food is best.
  • Love your family no matter what.

So when my neighbor brought me these warm chocolate chip cookies on this cold grey February day and said I was a good neighbor, the tears started to flow because I know my dad (and the whole Sliger bunch for that matter!) are all very proud of me.

I think those tears were not just simple tears.  They were —

Tears of thankfulness
for this wonderful life that I’ve had and have

Tears of sadness that so many people I love
are no longer here on earth,

Tears of faith that I know they are healthy,
happy and whole
(and together with Jesus!)

Tears of love, sorrow, and joy.