His garage was next to mine, holding a red mid-size car. He was not a happy man, rarely smiling. His wife was frail. When we passed one another in the hallway or driveway, he almost never said hello.
Yesterday he dropped dead.
I came home just as the ambulance pulled up to our apartment building. I thought little of it, not because I’m callous, but because our building is filled with people in their 70s, 80s and even 90s. It’s not an uncommon sight and, thankfully, the resident is usually home again within a few days.
Last week a gorgeous husky dog, always out with his blond owner for walks on our winding, hilly suburban street also died suddenly and unexpectedly.
Which explained a circle of hushed women whispering yesterday in the hallway.
Our lives are shaped by pattern, routine, the known and familiar.
Faces become visual wallpaper, the normal everyday background to our lives. The ones we take for granted. The ones we can lose, as two of my neighbors just did, without warning, in minutes.
Today, two pieces of it — a beloved pet, a valued friend and husband — are gone, ripped away, leaving behind the shocked and mourning.