Saturday, August 5, 2017

another one bites the dust



My neighbor Allen died unexpectedly Sunday morning. Allen owns the mostly vacant lot between us and what was his father's house, Frank of the Bountiful Garden, that the new neighbors now occupy. He has storage buildings at the back and his family would come and smoke the deer sausage from their hunting in one of the shelters every year. He kept it well maintained and in the spring he would mow around the bluebonnets and leave them there to go to seed before he would mow them in. He liked to hunt and fish and garden, shared the fruits of his labors with us more than once, kind of an all round country boy, checked in with his aging parents nearly every day while they were alive. 

Allen was scheduled to have double bypass surgery but he put it off because they had a trip to Alaska planned and he wanted to go and he also wanted to finish helping his friend with the work that needed to be done on his farm. He had the surgery a week ago. His double bypass turned into a triple and then all four and a valve replacement but he came through the surgery fine, was up walking around joking with the staff, no one was concerned and Sunday morning he had a heart attack they couldn't revive him from. He was 68.

The church was packed. He was obviously well liked in the community and loved by his family. After the service and the graveside across the street, everyone was invited to the fellowship hall to remember him with a catered lunch, because that's just the way these people roll. Allen and Michelle loved polka music and dancing so there was polka music played by a friend and musician on the accordion.  It makes me smile to imagine them dancing a polka.

I'm going to miss seeing Allen every few days moving stuff around, picking stuff up, dropping stuff off, mowing the yard. He was a good man and generous of spirit. If you needed help, he'd be there. It's taken about a week for it to finally sink in. I had seen him just days before when he came to mow the yard, probably right before he was admitted to the hospital because that's the kind of guy he was, taking care of business. Even Thursday at the funeral we were still in disbelief as I tried to visualize him in the coffin with his camo gimme hat on. 

Fly high Allen.




15 comments:

  1. I like playing polka for him. My parents were big polka dancers, and I can cut a rug once in a while.

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  2. Beautiful tribute, Ellen, to what sounds like a very fine man.
    We just never know, do we? And so we tend what is ours to tend until we cannot any more and if we have lived our lives well, we will be mourned.
    I'm so sorry.

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  3. My condolences for the loss of your friend Allen. I know you'll miss him.

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  4. now I will be reluctant to ever plan a trip to Alaska. Sorry you lost a great neighbor.They are hard to come by.

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  5. Ellen, this is a lovely tribute to Allen. I'm sorry you lost your friend and the community, evidently, lost a very special person.

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  6. Allen was someone I'd like to know and live next door to. I'm sorry he's gone. It sounds like he went before he was supposed to, and those are the hardest losses to accept. Thinking of you tonight ~

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  7. My condolences on the loss of your friend. It is so shocking when someone dies suddenly. You wrote a lovely tribute to him.

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  8. Interesting how the more recently we've seen someone, the more improbable their passing.
    Allen sounds like the kind of neighbor everyone wishes they had.

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  9. It's got to be a shock when something like this happens to someone you know so suddenly. I'm sorry to hear it. I hope whoever owns the property next takes as good care of it as Allen did.

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    1. I'm sure it will stay in the family unless Michelle gets tired of having to come over and mow.

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  10. This is a lovely tribute to a man who clearly was loved and respected. It really can be a shock when loss comes so suddenly.

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  11. Sad that you lost a friend. Leaves a void in your life that is hard to comprehend.

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  12. A good soul that mows around the bluebonnets. Sweet tribute.

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  13. I'm so sorry for Allen, his family, and all the people who will miss him. What a great legacy though! Something for me to aspire to (maybe not hunting).

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