I knew he was at home in hospice but I didn't know he had died.
He was 91 but spry and wily as a cat, full of energy and wit. He could have passed for 70:)
Sam and I would chat over the fence, discussing gardens or gossip and such. For the past few years he was home taking care of his wife Lucille who had developed Alzheimer's. They lived in the house on Mangels at least 60 60 years .
One day last year I asked him how he was doing, and he said that he was sad about his wife but was committed to help her. He'd monitor her medications, make her soup, and other simple but necessary acts of living. He said, "This is what I do. For better for worse. Till death do us part."
I would know that Sam was in his yard by smelling cigarette smoke wafting into my yard.
He kept a beautiful garden and was very dedicated to it. He had a very wry, irrverent sense of humor which sometimes took me off guard but always made me laugh. One time I told him I would be planting native plants, and his answer was "so you're going to plant weeds!"
I am very sad that Sam is gone, but as he often said, "whaddya gonna do?" His grandson told me that he did not want a memorial service and had willed his body to UCSF.
I'm writing this because I think many people have such a relationship with their neighbors but never really get to talk about it.
Goodbye, Sam. I imagine you tending the flowers in heaven or wherever we are wont to go after we pass from earth.