"Good people"

The couple was in their twenties and full of vigor. She was in her 80s and life had passed her. The couple sat in the third pew from the back of the small chapel and dressed in black. Quietly they moved forward as the first people to view Mrs. Ginger in her small humble coffin. As they shook my hand to say thank you, I could not help but ask the most obvious question, “What are they doing here? They are not sitting with the family. Who are these people?”

At the graveside the couple stood in the back, quietly. As the mass dispersed sans Mrs. Ginger, I found the couple moving to their car.

“Hey, I just wanted to thank you two for being here. It means a lot to the church, are you members of Grace United Methodist?”

“No.” She said.

“Oh, I just assumed. I guess you are family.” I felt a bit embarrassed.

“No.” He said.

Totally confused at this point I stammered out, “Oh. Well, can I ask how you are connected to Mrs. Ginger?”

“She was our neighbor. She invited us to CiCi’s on Tuesdays. We visited her house several times.” He stated. “Yes, she was our friend.” she tacked on to her husbands comments.

“I have to say to you then, how impressed I am that you would come on this Tuesday afternoon to Mrs. Ginger’s funeral.”

“We would not have missed it. She was ‘good people’.” He said.

“You are good neighbors.” I said with almost a shout.

We smiled and then they continued to their car. And I am sure I will never see that couple again.

It does not seem that my generation is a generation that would pay attention to their physical neighbors much less attend their funeral on a work day. Their attendance speaks volumes of the nature of Mrs. Ginger and it speaks volumes of the nature of what being neighbors means.

I must confess, I do not know my neighbors. And if this experience with this couple does not provoke me to introduce myself, then….