Friday, April 4, 2014

A (Sad) but True Story

I am a member of a Chapter of Starfleet International, an organization based on the ideals of Star Trek.  Our club leaders recently received word that one of our members had passed away. All the members were saddened to hear of this news, because he was a really sweet guy, kind of soft spoken, who always had a gentle manner about him.  He had served a term as our secretary and had done a great job.

He lived out of town, about an hour away from where our club meets.  We had a particularly horrid winter this year, and so most of our out-of-town members didn't make it to the meetings.  It's to be expected, so nobody really gave it another thought.  Our club has a monthly newsletter and our club leaders always make sure that copies get sent to everyone who missed the meetings. 

The tragedy of this situation is that this man passed away (probably due to a stroke) at the beginning of December and was not found until the middle of February!  How could something like this happen?  We still have no answers.  Didn't ANYONE notice that his vehicle hadn't moved in over 2 months, that his mail was overflowing out of the mailbox, that the lights were on (or off) at odd times of the day. Wouldn't his electricity and heat have been turned off after a more than a month of not having paid the bill?  Didn't he have any family members who missed him during the Holidays?
The other sad part to this is that his dog was found dead by his side.  One would have thought someone would have heard the dog barking or crying.  There are no answers to these questions and we may never know for sure.

The message here is that if you know have family members or neighbors who live alone, PLEASE, check up them every so often. Even if you don't know them well, if they live alone, especially if they are elderly, PLEASE check on them, offer to pick up things at the store for them or help them with chores.  What happened to this man should never happen to ANYONE. 

I recall a story my aunt told me about her elderly neighbor.  She and my uncle lived a very comfortable lifestyle near Orlando, Florida.  They had a neighbor who was rather well-to-do but getting on in years and it was getting difficult for him to get out and do things.  He was a widower with grown children who lived out of state and whom he didn't see often. (This was in a time before internet).  My aunt and uncle befriended him and upon learning of his situation, they always stopped by before going to the store and asked if he needed them to pick up anything.   This went on for a number of years.  They never gave a second thought about helping him out - because it was the right thing to do.  The neighbor passed away a few years later and imagine their shock and surprise when they were informed that he had left them $10,000 in his will! 

So once again, PLEASE do the right thing.  You might make a new friend and giving to others always makes you feel good, right?  The tragedy that was mentioned above should NEVER happen to anyone.  Be a good neighbor always!

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