To the Editor:
Our neighbor, Kate Collins, died a few days ago. Our family was her neighbor, and what a good neighbor she was. Always willing to help out, be around if needed, keep an eye on our house, and never ever imposing. She was an ideal neighbor. Through the many years we shared hellos and “How’s Eleni?” (her daughter, who was always the center of her life), and we grew in ways we didn’t even notice.
After many years had passed, we began early morning walks, usually under an hour, and we chatted and laughed. Kate pointed out and shared her history as a kid growing up here first in the summers. She also told me about her family’s restaurant and her dad, and her growing-up years. We began to know each other more than neighbors, and it was fun.
We decided walking wasn’t enough, we needed more time to chat, and so either one of us sporadically, every few weeks or so, would call or usually text, and suggest, “Time for some wine.” And so, every few weeks or even longer, we got together in her living room or sunporch and shared a glass or two of wine, and always with delicious munchies. Kate was quite a cook, but not only a cook but a creative spirit, who pulled munchies together quickly, and so lovely. We chatted and we laughed, and it was fun.
When Labor Day came, I suggested that we begin our walks again, and she deferred due to battling pneumonia, so I agreed, but then I saw her outside mowing, pulling weeds, and I thought, “Hmm, I’ll let her be for awhile and get back to her in a few weeks …” Kate died before we had time for another walk or a glass of wine, and I realized so clearly that our neighbor had become my good friend, and I miss her.