Friday, October 26, 2007

My Friend Dottie

One of my early encounters with my friend, Dottie, was at a neighborhood gathering. She told me that if her son ran into our mailbox with his car, she would sue us because our mailbox was not a breakaway. I went home and told Bob and we promptly got a new mailbox. That experience left me feeling cautious about Dottie.

I am no longer cautious. I have learned so much more about Dottie since that initial encounter. She is loyal, helpful, and soft hearted. She loves animals and has four dogs of her own. She likes crafts. Dottie gives many hours to volunteer work, particularly 4‑H but also with other groups. Dottie prints out new neighborhood lists whenever someone new moves into our neighborhood. She is a good cook and types out the recipes of our neighborhood gatherings for all of us. From time to time she surprises me with a card or candle or something to let me know she is thinking of me. For the past six years she has contributed to our neighborhood Christmas Tea table.

Dottie’s life has been difficult. She is married to man that has been manic depressive for most of their married life. Dottie raised five children. In 1999, her husband had a stroke and has been on disability since. He spends his days in his bedroom or study and does not leave their home. His stroke caused memory loss which continues to deteriorate. He refuses to eat most foods and this summer got down to 120 pounds. He also has a heart condition and has been hospitalized several times with congestive heart failure. Being his caretaker for such an extended time has taken a toll on Dottie. I am thankful that recently she hired a caretaker for several hours each day. Dottie is a great example to me. She does what needs to be done. She does not complain and rarely talks about her difficulties.

Dottie has been on my heart and mind this week. I pray for her. I wish her joy.

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