We moved to our new neighborhood last January. January in New England is not a time when people are outside much (unless they are playing in the snow somewhere). People are not outside in their yards and being social. All socializing is inside.
We met one family of neighbors a few weeks afterwards because we were outside dealing with snow and ice. We then met more neighbors as the weather got warmer. Because of the street's turns, we have one neighbor directly across the street and one next door. Everyone else is around a corner someplace. I met the neighbor across the street, B, in April or so. We talked gardening. She works at a local school and was very nice. I met her son and grandson. She was planning on working a few more years and then retiring to enjoy her gardens.
We discussed gardening issues over the spring and early summer. She was looking forward to a trip to her home country with some family members in the summer. Then we went away for a few weeks and she was away for a few weeks. I hadn't talked to her since July or so. I just figured she was busy and I was busy.
Last week I noticed lots of cars visiting her. Her family would come over from time to time, mostly on weekends. But there were never that many cars for that many days. It was very out of place. Friday it looked like a big garden party was going on. One of the other neighbors told me that the mailman, delivering a package, told her that there was lots of crying and hugging going on.
Saturday we went to the beach for the day. Sunday one of my other neighbors asked if I knew what was going on because on Saturday she saw a hearse and a procession leaving the house. (She couldn't stop because her child had a medical emergency she was dealing with.) No one knew what was going on.
I thought about stopping by on Sunday to make sure all was okay. All the neighbors were concerned. No one knew anything. I was asked by several people.
Yesterday after the gym, I saw people sitting in the garden. I went over to ask. It turned out that was two of her children. B had felt sick on Tuesday and went to the hospital. She died Wednesday morning in the hospital. She was gone. Everyone is stunned.
It turns out B developed a horribly aggressive, very rare form of lymphoma and that was it. Nothing could be done. Its just horrible. I can picture her in my mind but I will never see her again.