In the Brutal Bear song called “The Story,” the chorus is
“I can see the world as it’s meant to be. I can see the world on my own street.”
I experienced this chorus last week when I accompanied a neighbor to the emergency room.
I went over to Louise’s house at about 8:45 pm because she had fallen and called to say she needed help. I was afraid to lift her in any way because she was in so much pain. She suggested that her neighbor, Drew, had helped her on a different occasion, so maybe he could help her up. I ran to Drew’s house and asked him if he could stop laying tile and come help Louise. He came immediately -mortar-coated fingers and all! Unfortunately, even with his help and the offer of his sister’s SUV to transport Louise ot the hospital; the pain, shock and anxiety were too much and we ended up calling 911.
The living room filled with neighbors and first responders. I picked up Louise’s little dog so that she would not get trampled. Drew had stayed to write down his family’s phone numbers in case Louise would need a ride home from the hospital during the night. In the midst of the paramedics carefully examining Louise as if she were their own grandmother, an elderly neighbor arrived to see if he could be of any assistance and offered to fix Louise’s back door which had partially caused her fall.
Matt and I followed the ambulance to the hospital and waited for Louise to be assigned to a room. After a few minutes, one of the paramedics came out and led us through the ER maze to Louise’s room. The paramedic exclaimed,”Your street sounds amazing. Louise told us all about how great your neighbors are. I want to move to your street!” We sat with Louise for a few hours as she received care. Each nurse or doctor who came in assumed I must be Louise’s daughter. “No, I’m her neighbor.” Then Louise explained how great our street is. She told the doctor how everyone takes care of each other and how “it is just the best street! You couldn’t ask for better neighbors!” I smiled and thought to myself, “yes, this is how the world is meant to be.”
(As always, we’ve changed names in this story, just to protect privacy.)