It's amazing how the simple act of crossing the street just to say "Hi! Welcome" can mean so much.
My husband and I moved to Roanoke 4 years ago and knew no one. Our neighbors, Johnny and Loretta, from across the street were some of the first people we met. We don't have family nearby, and when our little guy, Henry, arrived on the scene, Loretta offered to help, brought him books her grandchildren outgrew, watched him when we needed a break, and plenty of times just entertained Henry when he wanted to come over and play.
Over the last couple of years, Henry has grown to LOVE running across the street to play with Johnny and Loretta. We joked Loretta was his Roanoke "surrogate grandma."
Today, we lost Loretta. It was not, at all, expected.
Just the other day, she was crawling around on the floor with Henry, and rescuing Hot Wheels from under the couch with a broom stick.
It's hard to imagine we can't just run across the street to catch up, or when Henry says let's go see Loretta ... I have to tell him, we can't.
I'm sad she's gone, but I can't explain how happy I am she crossed the street to say hi.