Sadly, there are some very small people. I have a neighbor who fortunately is not an immediate neighbor who, in my opinion, is a very small person. Not in height, but in kindness. She is quick to tout how “big” she is as far as her accomplishments, but this is not what I admire in people.
Here’s the story:
About two years ago, while I was in the turmoil of learning I had this bizarre disease, Sarcoidosis, trying to continue working full time as a physician and post-hysterectomy for a very rare cancer that my oncologist had written a paper on with data gathered from only 17 other patients, I met this woman.
I was post-second or third surgery for the Sarcoidosis, this one on my feet to remove the giant lumps that had grown over the years. I was relaxing on the sofa that morning, off from work, when my two very large dogs started lunging at the door and barking like they never bark at anything else that walks by. (Dogs do have a sixth sense).
It was awful in the house with their ruckus and I had to let them outside as the noise was deafening. She passed my house and lingered at the corner, with her little dog, the whole time with my two dogs going insane.
This pattern continued daily after that, pretty promptly at 8:15 AM until one day my husband, a nurse, was post-call and had just fallen asleep after a 12 hour night shift when she walked by.
I frantically let the dogs out and hobbled up the driveway on my crutches and my huge foot. I very gingerly asked her if she would mind stopping her walk right before our giant RV(since it’s almost at the end of the street anyway) so that my dogs wouldn’t see her, and explained to her that my husband often works nights as a nurse and he just fell asleep. Instead of the sympathetic reply that I expected, I got an outraged response. Apparently one of my other neighbors (in her eighties) had requested the same thing, as her dog for some reason goes bananas as well when this woman walks by!
Now we had lived here several years, knew of this neighbor and her dogs, but she had never walked them down this street. So, in asking her to stop before the RV, I assumed I was just asking a small favor as she obviously had another route to take with her dog.
She ranted about “what kind of neighbor asks you not to walk down their street…blah, blah, blah and stormed off. She then resumed her daily walk down our street, past our house and the old lady’s house, lingering over there and returning home. Our dogs continued their daily uncontrollable fuss and we lived with it.
One day my teenage son was home during this event. He was so upset for me having to get up to let the dogs outside that he went out, without telling me and tried to talk to her. Now my son is beyond his years in maturity, is interested in psychology, and definitely knows how to maintain his composure when discussing sensitive topics. Yet she must have said something to him because he came inside so upset and couldn’t believe her reaction!
About a week passed and I received a letter in my mailbox on a very formal letterhead with her job title, explaining her elevated status (in her mind) in the general community. She stated all her positions and jobs, etc. and told me that my son (who was 16 at the time) tried to harass her. I immediately understood where she was taking this, called her and explained that I too was a physician and never intended for the situation to blow up as it did.
I asked her to please do what she felt she had to do concerning her dog walking…and she did. Over the last year we have heard many interesting stories from other neighbors about her which help relieve some of our angst. But it doesn’t help to know that there are people who love causing pain, regardless of whether their victims are sick, old or normal.
So every morning, rain or shine, weekend or not, she comes down the street , my dogs go berserk and we live with it. Every morning, despite the terrible brain fog and fatigue that accompany my disease, at 8:15 I must get up and let the dogs out-not an easy feat for a sick person on disablility.
Now I ask you…what do you think?