Scary Issue Next Door

Trying to adjust to everything happening in the world has been very difficult. My neighbor and her husband used to come over and sit on our patio with my parents and me while we watched their children play. My nephews and niece would come over to play with my neighbor’s children and they would be outside for hours. The adults would sit and laugh, glass of wine or beer in hand, enjoying the nice weather together. We can’t do that anymore. The most we can do now is say hi from our yards or talk at the fence while keeping a distance. My nephews and niece can’t come over to play anymore.

Two weeks ago, I sat outside to do my homework and smiled as I heard my neighbor’s kids playing together outside. A day later my neighbor’s ten year old son was suddenly rushed to the hospital. What’s going on? Is he okay? Did he get the coronavirus? He was just outside playing yesterday and he seemed okay! So many thoughts were going through my head. My mom informed me that he went into diabetic shock. My neighbor was unaware that he had diabetes and she watched as her son struggled to stand on his own.

All I could do was just sit and feel sorry for my neighbor and her husband. She has been helping her kids with their online school, trying to keep them entertained, and trying to keep herself sane during this outbreak. The last thing she needs is a hospital visit with her little boy. Her anxiety was filled because she was in a hospital with COVID-19 patients and the last thing she wanted to do was bring that home to her other children. I began to put my problems aside and realize I really don’t have it that bad right now. Sure, I’m not receiving my unemployment checks and I haven’t had a paycheck since March 27th, but do I have a roof over my head? Yes. Am I starving? No. Am I healthy? Yes. Are the people in my household healthy? Yes. Do I have to worry about taking care of a child and their work on top of my own? No. Do I have it bad at all? Absolutely NOT.

My neighbors spent their Easter in the hospital with their son and they took their two other children to their grandmother’s house in Mount Pocono, PA, because that’s the closest family they have around. The next day, I had an urge for Chick-Fil-A and asked my neighbor if she and her husband wanted anything. “No that’s ok, we’re not home, we are at the hospital,” she replied. I decided to grab two sandwiches for them just in case. Luckily, when I got home with the food, my neighbor pulled up as well and her son was home. I knew she wasn’t going to have time to make dinner and I assumed they never found time to eat that day. I handed them the bag of food I picked up for them. Later that night, I dropped off carrot cake cupcakes and little Easter toys for the kids that my parents bought so they could enjoy a bit of their Easter.

My neighbor said that the doctor told her it was a good thing she brought her son to the hospital when they did because he would’ve died if they waited any longer. He is home, they brought his sugar down, and they collectively learned how to give their son the insulin shots each day. While my neighbors are adjusting to their new norm, I am staying grateful for what I have and I’m no longer complaining about the little things during this time. Instead of complaining about my problems, I need to be grateful for the problems that I don’t have.

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