Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Door Has Finally Closed

Prelude

I think most people believe the day we are born a hidden number is assigned to each one of us and sooner or later throughout our lives that digit will be called and we will cease to exist anymore. It's absolutely impossible to escape that dreadful situation, eventually it will occur, like Rod McGaha's smooth jazz song titled, "We Fall Down".

On Saturday Jan. 6/18 I received a phone call from my neighbour's youngest daughter telling me that her father had passed away. My E.A. (Executive Assistant) and I knew it was just a matter of time when his life would finally expire. Back in March of 2017 his wife saw her final sunset. The two had been married for sixty-eight years. After she perished my neighbour's health started to decline and a couple of months before he passed on he was bedridden.

Let me tell you about my neighbour. He was a ninety-five year old Japanese man who worked hard all of his life. My E.A.'s uncle (who occasionally worked with my neighbour) said his work ethic was superior. In my opinion he was a sincere and genuine human being...a true Christian. He would always lend a helping hand to his fellow man and woman. If the neighbours needed help with any home improvements, he would be at their doorstep with the appropriate tools. When he was mobile, copious amounts of time he would clear snow off many neighbours' driveways and sidewalks with his snow blower, obviously something he didn't have to do but wanted to perform that duty through the goodness of his heart.

About ten years ago I was home alone brushing my teeth in the bathroom. I leaned on the sink and suddenly the entire basin came off the wall and fell to the floor and of course water was pouring out of the hot and cold copper pipes from the wall...it was a clean break on both lines. I quickly picked the sink up and managed to position the couplings into the wall pipes, reducing the water flow immensely.

So there I was, standing and holding my washroom sink, thinking isn't this grand, how do I get downstairs to shut the main water valve off without dropping the sink and flooding the bathroom. It didn't take me long to realize there was no alternative so I released the sink and raced to the cellar turning the entire water system off in the house. But now I had another problem...I couldn't use any water.

Once again I phoned my reliable and faithful neighbour and told him about my dilemma. Within minutes he came to my rescue bringing over two steel caps and placed them on the wall pipes. Now, at least I could use the water again. He had a vast assortment of items and tools in his basement. With the exception of the washer and dryer his cellar was filled with, well, the only way I could describe it is, he had anything and everything...it was like a mini hardware store.

He was very mechanically inclined and always assisted the neighbours...without fail eager to please them. My E.A. and I had our fair share of his helpful personality, for example: loaning me his portable pump when I had a flat tire on my car, bringing over a cement mix and tools so I could fill in some cracks between the bricks to stop the wasps entering the house. He installed a kitchen counter top and sink for us. He also guided and directed my E.A. on placing a back splash on the kitchen wall. I must say she did a magnificent job but she also had an excellent teacher or shall I say Master. My E.A. had purchased a gas barbecue and our marvelous neighbour helped her assemble the unit. He also gave me major assistance on erecting a section of ceiling in our rec room...to tell you the truth I didn't have a clue what I was doing.

I can't say enough about our departed neighbour. Numerous times we would see him carrying his tools or some sort of material to other neighbours' homes, it was quite evident he was performing some sort of work for them. The man was truly talented...he knew a lot of things about a lot of things.

I labelled myself as the messenger of death because I notified a lot of neighbours of his passing...I did the same when his wife died. It's not a nice undertaking but it had to be done. Every so often he would pay us a visit. He would sit down in our kitchen having a glass of wine and chit-chat. He had all the characteristics of being a superb neighbour. I can honestly say he will be remembered as a legend on my street...an individual with high renown.

Epilogue

All of us in the neighbourhood will miss him. Not just his continuous helping hand but more significantly his witty humour, friendliness, unselfishness and considerate demeanour. I personally thought he was a fantastic neighbour, great friend and sometimes a father figure. I conduct all my writing in our living room with smooth jazz music playing on the television. On occasion I will hear a song and think the last time I heard that tune my neighbour was alive and well. I then look out the window and stare at his house and suddenly I become teary eyed. Hopefully he has joined his soul mate in a carefree world, full of happiness and forever life. Rest In Peace and God Bless your soul Mas Miyasaka...dam it, I miss you.

The End

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