Sunday, June 4, 2006

Our neighbor Eleanor died this morning. She was 93, so it wasn't totally unexpected, and she went on pretty good terms. She lived next door to us and across the street from her daughter and husband, and had been declining the last three months pretty rapidly. She was pretty much living with her daughter recently, and according to her, earlier this week said, "I'm ready to go." Like I said in an earlier post, she was one of the best neighbors we've ever had. As she became less able to leave the house, she got a lot of joy out of simply watching Peter run around in our front yard.

Eleanor had a life that wasn't easy – her husband was killed in an awful explosion that blew up about half the town here in 1959, and she'd been widowed ever since. A couple years ago, when I learned about her past, I had one of the reporters at the paper do a profile of her (didn't do it myself as living next door it seemed a bit unethical.) Anyway, Paul did an excellent profile of Eleanor. I was a little uneasy about having us exhume all those old feelings for Eleanor, but she and her family really liked the story, and often remarked on it to me. As her obituary for tomorrow's paper puts it, she managed to live "with great dignity and grace."

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