Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Life in America

My dad in Florida acquired an accidental roommate. The guy across the street from him, Bob, couldn't find work. He sold his furniture, then his car. Back in August, he had the house up for sale. Bob was watching dad's cats while dad visited with me here in New Hampshire. Dad said that if Bob was able to sell his house, he could move into dad's spare bedroom.

The house sold, so dad acquired a roommate. It was just going to be until the guy could find work. However, there's not a lot of jobs in Florida, especially for a guy pushing 60.

A couple days ago Dad came home to find Bob doubled up in pain, so he called 911.

Turns out that Bob had advanced cancer. He hadn't been feeling well, but like most Americans without medical insurance, he ignored it. Now it's too late. If he makes it out of the hospital, it'll only be to go to hospice.

Bob's friends have passed. He's divorced and what little family remains have never visited. Somewhere there's an estranged son. It's fallen to dad to take care of his few remaining things.

I can't help but feel sad. Bob's story isn't all that unusual in today's America. Families don't hold together. There's little social support.

When a friendly neighbor is your closest human connection, it's a sad thing indeed.



  1. That really sucks. But at least your Dad is there for him. Your Dad is a good man...

  2. Thankfully your Dad is there to be a friend to him. I have found that sometimes a friend treats you better than your own family does. Our society has changed so much from when I was a little kid and family meant everything.

  3. My dad is a good man.

    Linda, there was a time when a brother-in-law made me thank god for friends and strangers.

  4. It sounds like your dad is one of the vanishing breed of good men-good neighbors. Bob and you are lucky to have him.

  5. Sixbears,damn it is sad! But what about the folks who have no one? It must be terrible to have no one.I am with the other folks,Bob is lucky to have a friend like your Dad. America it seems is one of the worst in the way older folks are treated.Not like smart elders we who have done much and we can learn from,instead as boring people who are in our way.I am lucky as I have usually had older folks around to tell me stories of the way things were and things they learned.A great waste on our part!


  6. I had a father like yours. Count yourself luck to have such a caring and decent man as yours.