Friday, August 22, 2008

All the trouble in the world

I didn't hear about why the neighbors down the street moved out until last night.

I like where we live. I don't much love the house or the yard. I don't care for the narrowness of the streets, but I like that we live in a place where there are a couple of mixed-race couples, one guy who obviously has issues with addiction and a couple of houses where an adult has moved back in with Mom and Dad, along with her kids. It's working class, and we've all got very visible issues. My family fits in.

In our neighborhood, there's a childlike man in his mid-30s. He doesn't work, is likely on disability, but stays home and lives with his parents. He's the neighborhood watch and gossip. He talks to everyone and keeps us up to date on what everyone is doing.

Across the road, in a house smaller than mine, a young couple and their two children lived. She was young, terribly thin and covered in tattoos. Her boyfriend or husband (I never saw a ring, but never asked) was black and sort of chunky. He worked. She stayed home and took care of the kids, both of whom are under five. Nice people and friendly.

They moved out suddenly a couple of weeks ago. I figured the rent got to them. I don't know what they paid. Even not so choice places in South Hills are pricey. I pay 600 bucks for a house that might not get 400 elsewhere. I'm glad to get it because the landlord leaves us alone, the local school has been good to my daughter, and we need every kindness we can get.

Their youngest son has been sick. Two years old, just a little younger than my youngest, the boy has already had a couple of surgeries. I was told they moved because the intestinal surgery he needed wasn't covered by the family's medical plan. They were relocating to a state where they qualified.

Not a tough call to make, just a hard thing to have to do. I'd have tried to help them if I'd known. I don't know what I would have done that they couldn't. I'd have probably called a few social service agencies and asked questions. Maybe I would have turned something up. I don't know. I didn't get the chance. I lost my neighbors before I could have tried.

So, I got an e-mail yesterday from a guy named Ryan. His son was born in January with a bunch of health problems. There have been surgeries. He's missed work and they're struggling. He came to me, because someone, somewhere told him I might be able to get him some publicity for a bake sale. He's a little desperate. I told him we get a lot of these stories here at the paper. A sick kid and a family struggling has been told before. We get scammed, too, I'm sure.

I told him I'd still meet with him. We could try. Maybe there would be a story, and maybe we'd stumble over an answer that would actually help them.

I can always go back to talking to bass players if it doesn't work out.

1 comment:

kenju said...

You may be able to point him in the right direction, so, good for you!Nothing would be gained by not trying.