I saw my 93-year-old neighbor from down the street, Angelo, sitting out front this morning, and so I stopped the car and we chatted for a bit. He hopped out of his chair and walked over to the car. As ever, he was wearing his big wooden cross, and as ever he asked how I was doing–said he hadn’t seen me in a while.
Maybe, he was worried about me. You know you’re looking old when 93-year-olds worry about you. I’d been worried about him because I hadn’t noticed him walking for about a month or more. He said that he fell in front of the house a few weeks back and his daughter-in-law didn’t want him walking up the street any more. He said a nice lady, maybe a nurse, stopped and made sure he got inside okay. He showed me a spot where the gravel cut his arm. I said, “Did you go to the ER?” And he said, “No, I wouldn’t fool with anything like that.” He chuckled and said, “I got hurt more falling down out front than I did in the war.”
He said, “You know I was thinking D-Day was 69 years ago this week.” I asked him what he did that day. He said his B-24 Liberator flew two missions over Normandy and Omaha Beach that day–as usual, when talking about the war he welled-up. He said, “I lost a lot of friends.” I said, “I know it’s upsetting to think about, but it was an honor to have served, and your friends are in a better place.” He agreed.
It is an honor to know Angelo and call him my friend and neighbor.