Fashion Magazine


By Wardrobeoxygen @wardrobe_oxygen
I live in a very unique community. Part of Roosevelt’s New Deal, we live in a town of 1600 or so rowhouses, built in clusters or courts. Each court has around a dozen row houses surrounding a parking lot or green space. With close quarters and a communal area for children to ride bikes and run around while adults discuss politics and the weather, you get to know your neighbors very well.
In such a community setup, you notice when the elderly man in the court doesn’t go for his morning walk and you check on him to make sure he’s okay. Many a snowy morning we have woken to find our walk already shoveled by a neighbor, and we have performed the same act on our neighbors. We share tools and hoses, jumper cables and generators, sugar and CSA produce. People don’t move often, so you see children grow and turn into adults, and then have children of their own.
Yesterday, one of my neighbors passed away unexpectedly. She was in middle school when we moved into our town. We saw her grow from an awkward tween to a mother of two boys. Recently, she moved from living in our court with her parents to a home with her new fiancé. Her oldest son is close to Emerson’s age, and Emerson says he is her best friend. When they see each other, they run to each other and hug until they fall to the ground. He’s a good kid who tries really hard to do the right thing. Yesterday he lost his mother.
Last night, Karl and I cried for this family; our neighbor losing her young daughter far too soon, this little boy and his brother losing their mother, our neighbors who just enjoyed an empty nest for the first time and will likely have to postpone retirement and raise at least one of these children. We felt as though we lost a cousin, for our community transforms neighbors into extended family.
I later stood in the court with my neighbors, discussing the tragedy. We all felt so helpless, what could we do at this point other than offer casseroles, childcare, and hugs? We felt that we should do more, that we should be able to fix things. Though we are separated by walls and can go days without communicating, we feel like family, and we feel their pain. We care, we love, and we wouldn’t want to live anywhere else with any other people.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t predict the future. You can’t control every aspect of your life, and sometimes really awful things happen to good people at the absolute worst time. Yesterday’s tragedy reminded me of this fact, and reminds me to enjoy the present instead of just working for a future. The future may not happen, make the best of the now. Tell your family how much you love them. Get that haircut, go back to school, wear those red shoes, get your passport renewed. And get out and meet your neighbors, help bring back community.
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