Celebrating Good Neighbor Day

Callanan Street Circa 1965

Back when I was a young kid, good neighbors were just about all there were. Bad neighbors? In my juvenile perspective everyone on my block looked out for everyone else.

Especially Mrs. Demers. 

She lived two houses down from mine and my earliest recollections were of going to her house and playing while Mom visited or she’d come over for a morning coffee break—nearly every day.

Laughter and Mom’s cigarette smoke filled the air of our small kitchen. I’m sure there was plenty of grownup talk that I ignored, but when Mom went back to college, it meant an empty house for me. 

Mrs. Demers opened her front door and waved as I walked home from school. She checked on me and my older sister. Often, she had snacks for us too. 

Mom never had the chance to reciprocate because schooling continued for another four years which then led to a full time job. That didn’t deter Mrs. Demers. Her smile and her after school check-in continued without any expectation of payback. 

So, when I think of Good Neighbor Day, I think of Mrs. Demers. What’s interesting is that back then we didn’t need a Good Neighbor Day as a reminder....it’s just who our parents tried to be.

In our busy e-connected lives, being a good neighbor can go far beyond the block. In many ways being a good neighbor can happen anywhere we are. 

I never thought to really thank Mrs. Demers, I guess that goes with being a child. But I’ll honor her memory by trying to be more like her now.

Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39

#GoodNeighborDay2019  September 28, 2019

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