I never thought I would be comforted by the roar of Wills’ Harley as he left for work in the morning and came home at night, but that’s what happened. The music late at night took a bit to get used to, but soon it was white noise and I fell asleep. Will was my neighbor and we shared a wall and our lives for 10 years. He would have been 32 in December. Will took his own life last week and his light and spirit lives on in his family, friends and me. The tears come when I remember Will is gone and I haven’t heard his Harley for over a week now.
Our dogs were neighbors too . Decker and Sophie got extra big dog biscuits that were stored by my patio door. I remember Will trying to get my temperamental and scared dog, Roscoe, to warm up to him with little doggie treats . He dispensed the treats over the half wall between our decks, Roscoe is little, but fierce. When Will crawled through my small kitchen window because I locked my keys in the house, Roscoe nipped him to express his gratitude. I got suspicious one evening because Will seemed to be watering for a l-o-n-g time so I called and since Will was in the mountains (!) we figured that one of the dogs had knocked the spigot. Armed with treats, I visited Sophie and Decker and got the water shut off! Sophie also loved to play in the sprinkler and we had some laughs watching.
We shoveled each other’s driveways and sidewalks. Will did more than his share of shoveling snow, especially after my husband Roger got sick and passed away. Sometimes Will cleaned the snow off my car; he was so tall he could reach the roof of my SUV. I liked to pay Will back with sweet stuff like cake and muffins. He never had a problem with his appetite! And of course his reputation as a grill master was well deserved and the smells were very mouth watering.
And the women! Will was quite the ladies man, but he usually managed to date the same woman for a year or two…. I didn’t like the break ups because there was this awkward conversation where I asked why I hadn’t seen so and so for awhile, and Will shared they had broken up. Sometimes I could see how disappointed he was that things just didn’t work out.
There were many “Hi, how are you?”conversations and longer ones when we had a few minutes to spare. Will was a camper and an outdoor kind of guy. I wondered about his big rubber boat in the driveway! Lots of coolers drying out on the deck.. I liked his red truck better than his newer one, it fit his rugged lifestyle better. One of last things Will did for me was kill a big rattlesnake on my sidewalk, 10 feet from my front door. My rattlesnake killer said he hated to kill a living thing that was just trying to avoid humans but he had to do it. There was his deep respect for nature that kept him in the outdoors.
Will was my neighbor and he shared his world with me. I will pull in your trash cans from the curb to your garage as I leave in a few minutes. I will miss him every day. Good-bye Will.
Always your neighbor,