The Blessing of Good Neighbors


 This is the true story of the unselfish acts of my neighbors, who in times of great distress their graciousness and expressions of kindness will forever be treasured by my husband and myself.    

 Our next door  neighbors, Frank and Sylvia Juarez are wonderful people, we don’t hang  out with them even though we like the same things,  movies ,TV shows and when we run into each other outside we can literally talk for hours. My husband  David and I have for years said how we need to get together, and  have them over. But we never have.


We try and justify it with how busy we all are, the world goes  in a much faster pace as we get older and there is always something having to be done, and put inviting them over on the back burner.


In March I had a serious, painful  and complicated  back surgery consisting of  3 doctors operating on me for 6 hours and then I was in recovery  another 3 hours. It was a 360 spinal fusion and I was opened up vertically in the front and also in the back. Several procedures were done including fusion, replacing some of my discs with donor bone and inserting an assortment of titanium screws running up and down  my spine.



Sylvia and Frank  have 5  grown children ,and numerous grandchildren, and it seems there is never a day that goes by that Sylvia isn’t taking care of, chauffeuring her grandchildren to school  and back and babysitting. Sylvia’s parents also have health  problems and just this last week she had to fly to San Antonio to help with them .


But on that fateful day for me  on March 13th, Frank and Sylvia were there at the hospital with  my husband all through those long drawn out 9 hours helping to keep his spirits up and his mind from thinking about all the things that potentially could go wrong.  These  neighbors who we just shared outdoor chats when we would see each other stayed longer then  anyone else, relatives included!! 


When I finally was discharged from the hospital, my husband having to go back to work after staying home with me a week, Sylvia took upon herself to add  me to her many  daily concerns and  responsibilities. I am  in  a back brace and not allowed to sit up for long periods of time, bend or twist, basically just lay around  like a knickknack, an old unsmiling chipped knickknack at best.


Sylvia would check on me daily, having a good shoulder to cry on, encouraging words when I started to fall in a vat of self pity and leaving me feeling better then I had before she came. I was astonished when she apologized for not being able to do more for me. 

 She   would prepare meals for my husband and my self and bring them over  and we feasted like a king and queen on wonderful food making it almost worthwhile to have such a miserable operation.


In this chaotic world we live in, where everyone’s life is  running in the fast lane, where  cell phones and emails are replaced by personal human contact, and neighbors don’t even know the names of each other ,the unselfish acts  of my own gracious  neighbors, Frank and Sylvia Juarez have humbled me and made me  appreciate  what a treasure these two people are.


Most of us take our family for granted and I sincerely hope that Sylvia’s family realize she is  truly a gift from  God, a  unique person who brings joy into the lives of all the people  she touches and leaves an imprint on the hearts of all who she comes into contact with.