Courtesy Microsoft Clip Arts

Courtesy Microsoft Clip Arts

While I was in the hospital having my daughter in Winnipeg, I got new neighbors.  The woman (D) was younger than me & ran a daycare in her home.  When I went back to work D provided daycare for my daughter.  It was great for me because my daughter liked to sleep in till 9 a.m. & I had to be at work for 8 a.m., so I could just go into her room, wrap her in a blanket & take her next door, where D would put her in a crib until she woke up naturally.

D was very kind to me.  I was a single parent for a couple years & sometimes I would come home very tired – she would invite me in & put a hot meal in front of me while my daughter had a bath with her 2 children.  We got to be good friends.  She cared for my daughter when I developed a kidney stone & had to spend 3 days in the hospital on an emergency basis.  We were always there for each other.

One of the things I always admired about D was her ability to look after children & keep her home really clean.  You would find toys scattered about in designated play spaces, but the rest of the house was always so clean.  As soon as lunch was over, the dishes were done immediately.  The washer was constantly running, washing clothes & baby blankets.  It seemed like D never stopped.

I found out D’s mother had died when she was in her late 20’s from cancer, leaving D & her siblings with her father.  Being the oldest, D helped her father raise her younger siblings.  At 22, D suffered her own scare with cancer when she developed ovarian cancer.  She had a total hysterectomy.  A couple years later she developed cancer in her left breast.  She had a mastectomy just weeks before I first met her.  I would never have known because she always portrayed this strong image.

D was afraid she would die of cancer.  After her mother’s death, she remembered her aunts coming over to help D’s father clean out her mother’s property.  D remembered her aunts remarking about how dirty her mother’s house was (even though she’d been in the hospital for the last month of her life).  D never wanted anyone to say the same thing about her house if she should die & so she worked like a demon to keep her house spotless every day.

Is there something you’re afraid to have found if you passed away?  Have you got a secret stash or a drawer you wouldn’t want found?  This thought was prompted when our neighbor came over today to ask a favor since his father passed away just days after my hubby went & helped lift him from a fall. 

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