When we lived in a rented house in a different neighborhood in Mountain View, we had fantastic neighbors on each side of us.

On the north side was an older man named Ev. He grew beautiful roses in his front yard. He would stand on the other side of the fence and talk about gardening with Kat, or he would tell us stories about the huge oak tree in his back yard, and stories about the neighborhood and how it developed.

He was always pleased to see you and always had something interesting to talk about. He knew a lot about the different neighborhoods in Mountain View. When we told him we we had bought a house and where we were moving, he mentioned that he’d known a lady who lived “over that way.” In fact, whenever he talked about a neighborhood in Mountain View he knew a lady “over that way.”

When he was well enough, he would fire up his old pickup truck and run an errand. I always imagined he was visiting a lady friend in another neighborhood.

While we were excited to have bought a house, we were heartbroken to be leaving behind such wonderful people like Ev. We always said he should come by and see Katherine’s roses. We had heard from friends that he’d been receiving home care for a little while. He went into the hospital last week. He passed away on Sunday.

He never got to come and see Kat’s roses and tell us more about our neighborhood and which lady he knew “over our way.” Somehow life got away from us and we never got around to having him visit. We’re both upset about having not made the time to see him.

It’s easy to leave something and imagine that it will always be the way you left it; your hometown, a school, a neighborhood, a person. Time has a way of reminding you otherwise.