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I Like My Neighbor.

Submitted by Sue Schroerlucke (Sidney, OH)

Our friend, a Marine veteran

About 4 years ago, a man moved into the house across the street from us. He wore a U S Marine Corps hat and I noted that he was a veteran. I spoke to him on occasion and talked to my husband about asking him to go to church with us. Another neighbor warned us that he was a dangerous person (wrongfully accused of something he did not do and spent time in prison) and that we shouldn’t talk to him. Well, years later, he is our dear friend and considers us his family. His real family has rejected him, his grown children have not spoken to him for over 15 years. He spends Christmas with us, eats with us, loves our kids and grandkids, and thinks that we have done so much for him. What we did was accept him and love him unconditionally. We put no restrictions on that. He has, in the past, walked our dogs when we were at work, helped with our garden and many other things. He is a proud person and unashamed of being a VietNam vet. His health is failing, his heart and body are giving up. We will miss him terribly when he goes, but we are grateful for his time and wonderful friendship. What would we have missed if we had not spoken to him and invited ourselves into his life? Opening up your heart to someone is sometimes risky, but if you never take the opportunity to do so, you may miss the greatest friend.