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Maxine Beck: Missing an important neighbor and friend

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Maxine Beck

Maxine Beck

Hello all.

On Sept. 7, my neighbor and friend unexpectedly passed.

Webster defines death as, "The act or fact of dying; end or destruction."

Death is indeed considered "the end."

Earlier this year, my neighbor told my youngest son that he helps take care of me. My son told my neighbor that I had already told him how nice and helpful he was to me.

If I sat in my car, in my yard or at my mailbox for more than 10 minutes with the engine on, he would call and ask if I was ok. When I locked myself in the family room, it took my neighbor about 15 minutes to open the door that I had pulled and banged-on for two hours.

Whenever there was an emergency at my home, he always came inside and stood near me. He would bring me lunch and would call and tell me that he had placed a food-box, from his church membership, on my porch.

Early in the morning, we would talk back-and-forth, across the street, to each other. And last week, when the weatherman predicted high winds and heavy rain, to prevent items on my porch from being blown away, he helped me remove the items to my garage.

Now, death and destruction has abruptly ended something that had brought happiness and friendship for years.

We all know that death is inevitable; however, it is always looked upon as being destructive/the end.

You definitely don't want to feel what you feel about death simply because the majority of us think that the Lord has the final-say about death; however, the majority of us don't know how to feel otherwise about death. What do you do?

After visiting my neighbor's family briefly Tuesday afternoon, I felt the urge/need to drive and drive and drive.

Suddenly, I was in a blinding rainstorm and unable to pull over. I had to divert all of my attention from bleakness to the current emergency.

Within five minutes, I was in a dry area. I refused to return to bleakness. I returned home, ate supper, showered, prayed and went to sleep. Nonetheless, whenever I opened my eyes during the night, my first thought was of my deceased neighbor.

On Sept. 9 at 10 a.m., I felt better, but I am still missing my neighbor and friend. I stood on my porch and briefly glanced at his house. His front door was closed; there was quietness and the appearance of death.

My pastor told us (the congregation) to not fear death. Therefore, from here on, I am going to try to remember that and not consider death as destruction/end, but as part of the Lord's plan for eternal life with Him. You can't get eternal life without dying and having faith in the Lord and following the Lord.

My neighbor showed that he had faith in the Lord and followed Him. For him, death is not the end.

Well done, Terry Swain, well done!

Today, death is more inevitable than ever!

I am going to speak further on death because higher volumes of death has never been more prevalent, since 2020, unless during wartime.

Last Sunday, at 7:45 p.m., my nephew stopped by. His father had unexpectedly passed earlier during the week.

My children unexpectedly lost their father when they were 16 and 14 years old. Although my nephew is 28 years old, he is still going to miss many years of not having a father.

We discussed what he, and other family members, will possibly miss by not having their deceased family member.

I told him that the first year will be the hardest.

No matter what your religious and/or personal beliefs are about death; death does have a sting. And death is a subject that everyone can speak on and share personal knowledge.

When I think back to my childhood, it seems that death did not occur at the rate that death occurs today. And it appears, to my recollection, that death was easier to overcome during my childhood years. But I was a child and adults did not share feelings, and so much more, with children.

Little Rickey and I talked the majority of the time, until 10:45 p.m. and on my porch, about death and the effects of death on family and friends.

Speaking of dealing with/getting over death, I still have the contact information for my brother (K.D.), Gladdean Castleberry, and Dot Carson in my phone. I cannot delete their information because I feel as if it will be disrespectful to them.

And with deaths from COVID-19 all around us, I think death needs to be discussed with children 17 to 3 years of age.

Death is increasingly amongst us!

Take care, use common sense and "Stay Safe!"

Maxine Beck is a contributing columnist for The Daily Home. She writes about the African-American community in and around Talladega.