Bug Soup

A Broth of Rambling Thoughts ( with some morsels of 'silly' thrown in for flavor)

Friday, February 10, 2006

The House Next Door

The house nextdoor.
Is empty.

My dear friend and neighbor, Katie H. passed away this week.
She was found Tuesday, on her kitchen floor, face down in a pool of blood, by the neighbor that lives on the other side of her.
He was concerned that her trashcans from Monday were still out, and her newspaper hadn't been picked up Tuesday morning, so he checked on her. God Bless him.
She'd been dizzy, and falling quite often, they don't know what took her exactly, but think it may have been a stroke.

Her Husband of many years, died last year, just a few months before my my Mom did.
She was alone this last year, except for her little dog ( who she referred to as , " such a bad little boy" He was sweet, and tiny.)

Since we'd lived here, she was always there, nextdoor.
She greeted us the day we moved in.
She was never in our business, never nosey, or gossipy; but if something was wrong, she was there .
Like she knew when I needed her.

Her voice was like a hug.
Katie was from Germany, and in her 80's. She sounded exactly like my Nana, and she was lovely.

I got a phone call from her one day, telling me that Steve needed to fix Kate's swing. She loved to sit on her patio and watch my child play in the yard, and she was really bothered that the swing was broken, and my baby wasn't swinging under the trees anymore.
She left treats on our porch Easter morning.

She showed up at my door one Sunday evening in 2001 , tears in her eyes.
See, she'd heard from some kids in the neighborhood, that my husband had died. I hadn't been home in days, and there were strange people coming and going from my house at odd hours. And she hadn't seen my baby Katie in the backyard for days.
My husband was indeed near death, but not gone . He'd had lifesaving brain surgury to repair an anyeresm that had hemoraged. It was a bad time, and she knew it.
Katie sat with me, and held my hand, and said encouraging things, while my Mother-in -Law bathed my child and got her ready for bed. The phone rang, a call from my sister telling me that Dale Earnhardt hadn't survived the crash. It was the first I'd heard that Dale had died, and my husband wasn't there to comfort me. He was in a NICU, and I couldn't even call him.
Katie had watched the race too, and was as stunned as I , at Dale was gone. She came to comfort me over my Husband, and we ended up having a moment together, over the loss of another Hero.

Sometimes we'd sit in the backyard and have a few drinks together. She was totally fun when she was lit! She could drink! She was so fun!

Before her husband Gus died, he saw my Mom in the backyard one day .
They knew my Mom, they'd met all our parents over the years.
She looked so much like me that day, wearing my robe, but bald headed from her radiation treatments. He thought it was me.
Katie called me a few days later, to " check on us " .
Seems they were afraid I was sick, and didn't know what to say. Were worried about me, and my child and my husband. They thought I had Cancer. They thought I was the bald sick woman in my backyard .
She was so sweet, I knew she was sad that my Mom was sick, but yet so glad that it wasn't me. I could hear the relief in her voice.
For days they'd worried about what to say, what to do. They thought I was sick, and it was awful for them. They were so happy I wasn't dying, and so sad for me that my Mom was.

I didn't spend as much time with Katie as I should have, especially this last year.
I'd tell her to call me whenever she needed anything, but she rarely called. Oh sometimes she'd call me to help her re-set clocks, or fix the settings on her TV remote, but she never called just to say she was lonely.
I knew she was.
Losing her Gus was horrible for her, they had no children, and she was so alone. But she liked her privacy too, and didn't want anyone fussing over her. She was a strong woman.
The last time anyone saw her, she told my Brother that his Mom would be so proud of him.
That was the last morning of her life.
She liked Kurt so much.
Every morning they talked over the fence when they took the dogs out.
Every morning she greeted my daughter and visited while Kate waited for her school bus.
Katie loved my Katie.

I can't believe she is gone.
I'll miss her.
Everytime I see her house, I feel it's emptiness.
I think I will always feel that emptiness.
I can't imagine anyone else ever living there.

Goodbye Katie
I am so glad you and Gus are together
I wish you never lonely again
I will miss you
I loved you
I hope you know how important you are in my life
I wish I had told you more often

The house nextdoor to me is empty now.


Blogger Puffy said...

Beautifully written, Buggy. Straight from the heart. I feel like I know Katie, too. And I miss her, too.

1:36 AM  
Blogger arkie said...

What a wonderful tribute to your friend.


8:52 AM  
Blogger Buggy said...

I had meant to make this a short post. When I wrote it, I thought it was.
I just had so much to say about her, and I miss her so much.
My Katie has such a bond with our neighbor Katie. She'd cut the very first rose from her bushes each spring, and take it next door to give to Katie.
Always, Katie got the first rose from Katie.
And Halloween, she loved Halloween and would call me every year and say, " When is your kid coming over for Trick ot treat? I'm ready to go to bed, it's almost dark, when is she coming over?"

I meant it to be a short post, but I could still write more about her.
Like no one as been over there since they took her body away. I wake up at night worried about her food rotting in the fridge, she'd hate that.
And who has her little dog now?
I don't know.
And there isn't going to be a service, and that bothers me.
Funny, my Mom not having a funeral didn't bother me, but Katie not having one, that leaves a gap for me.
And driving by that empty house everyday, it feels so wrong.

I guess I'm just not so good at the short entries.

8:41 PM  
Blogger lights said...

Aw, Buggy. *big hugs*

Sorry about Katie. She sounds like she was a wonderful person and neighbor. I hope her little dog found a loving home.

Don't you ever worry about lengthy entries. I could read your words all day long.

7:08 AM  
Blogger kim (weltek) said...

Aw, buggah, that was beautiful. *hugs* I'm sorry you lost your friend & neighbor.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Schnookie said...

That was so beautiful Buggy. Thanks for sharing your story about Katie with us. I feel your loss *HUGS*

3:31 PM  
Blogger ~Nutz said...

Oh Buggy! Your beautiful words have me *sobbing* right now! Your writing is amazing.


4:26 PM  
Blogger Supes said...

Don't worry, Buggah. I hear Dweeze is good at short entries.

Seriously, though, sorry about your friend.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

So sorry for your loss, Buggy. That was a beautiful tribute, it brought tears to my eyes.


1:25 PM  
Blogger augie said...

Such a lovely tribute to Katie, Buggy. Thank you for sharing her story.


7:04 PM  
Blogger momma said...

Beautifully written.

*hugs* Your Neighbor Katie sounds like the perfect neighbor and a wonderful friend.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Lasann said...

Oh buggy. That was so sweet. People touch our lives in so many ways. She sounds wonderful!

5:30 PM  
Blogger Sally W said...

If the universe did start with a bang - when God loved and the angels sang - one of the sparks that flew - chased time to become you :) xaNax

9:05 PM  
Blogger Glowie said...

So beautifully written. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. *hugs*

12:03 AM  
Blogger bobdechemist said...

Hugs for bugs

and Katie

6:44 PM  
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Anonymous Jeff Perry said...

Beautifully written, Buggy. Straight from the heart. I feel like I know Katie, too. And I miss her, too.

10:48 PM  

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