05 June 2005


My dog is making little polite reminder noises which mean it's almost time for our walk. He does so love a walk.

There is a neighbor who walks her dog at the same time I often do. Hers is a cranky American Eskimo. She tells me all about his bad behavior at the vet's with almost a kind of pride.

She and her husband are elderly, and the husband is not well. Instead of a peaceful retirement, she's working harder than ever, trying to take care of him. I remember how it was when my mom was sick... I would not wish that on anybody. In those days, I was phobic about asking for help. Now I beat the bushes shamelessly. I think my neighbor friend may be back in the bootstrap era I came out of, so I'm trying to make the encouraging kinds of suggestions which helped me, finally, to pick up the phone. And I am nagged with guilt... should I offer to help? But I work full time... and I have a proven tendency to Over-Do, and am particularly susceptible to those who need help. So I cannot make those decisions on my own, but must seek counsel before offering.

Her kids don't help much, I gather... not sure why, though an easy guess would be the dad, whom I've heard pontificating out in his garden often enough. They don't just wake up at 70 like that; it takes years, and sometimes young persons just get Tired of It All and can no longer be bothered. If so, that's sad.

But I cannot possibly know. What I can do, is pray.

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