To My Neighbors, With Love
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To My Neighbors, With Love

Thank you.

17
To My Neighbors, With Love
Sophie Stauffer

When I came home on Christmas Eve, I did not expect to see the “For Sale” sign in your yard. When I looked at that sign, I was flooded with memories. My childhood is intertwined with the stories that your family and mine created. I remember wading in the creek with Kate even though it was in the middle of the golf course. I remember when you moved in when I was 8 years old and thinking that Tyler was the coolest boy that I had ever met (him being older than me probably helped, however even in adulthood I have to say Tyler you are still way cooler than I am). I remember when Jeff took, Kate, Tyler and I camping and taught me cool card games in the tent. I remember when Rebecca and the boys moved in. And I remember when Bobby, who is now the about the same age as I was when you moved in, was born and completed your family.

Somehow, I was lucky enough to grow up with the best next-door neighbors that I could’ve imagined. I instantly had a best friend when Kate moved in next door to me. I had a second house that I could walk into and drink all of their coffee. And when I saw that my neighbors were moving, I was sad. I don’t live at my childhood home anymore, so I suppose it’s unfair to expect everything to stay the same as it was when I was a child. But I’ll miss them. My neighborhood will never quite be the same again. What is a neighborhood without neighbors to turn to? A new family will probably move in. And they will probably (hopefully) be great. But they won’t be the family that I’ve known for 12 years. I’m sure they won’t be nearly as welcoming if I decide to walk into their house and have a cup of coffee. They’ll be different.

Places are only as special as the people that you share them with. I will always have a special place in my heart for the places where I have met my closest friends, no matter how desolate and small they may seem to the outside. My heart is not where I studied abroad, or in my childhood home, or at my university, but rather it is with the people that I have met at all of these places, all over the world. I carry these people and these memories with me wherever I go. My neighborhood is special because the people that I shared it with were special. Had I not gotten along with my neighbors, or had I not really known them, my childhood would’ve been vastly different, and the person that I am today would be vastly different.

So to Jeff, Rebecca, Kate, Tyler, Jack, Charlie, and Bobby, thank you for the role that you played in my childhood. Thank you for having such a large influence on my life. Thank you for being there for my family. Thank you for being good neighbors. I hope that your new house will be full of joy, and I hope that it will not take long for it to go from your new house to your home.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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