Cumberland Times-News

December 11, 2013

Now, he has the keys to their hearts

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— There are angels amongst us ...

I wanted to let you know of two special people who live around you in your town.

I grew up in Cumberland and have always loved the hills around “home” and the folks that made the living there so special.

When I married, I moved away, but came home as much as I could, especially around the holidays. Cumberland was a “holiday” for me and my family any time we were there.

Well, my folks are from Cumberland. Born, raised, worked and died there. They owned their home, established their own business and raised their family.

As life would have it, they left me and an empty house. Being so far away, it would have been difficult to maintain the house, watch over it and protect it, but I had peace of mind about it all.

That is the purpose of this note. My folks had nice neighbors, except for this one couple who lived right next door. They are the angels I want you to know about.

They are exceptional and very humble. They probably will be embarrassed to know that I wanted you all to know about them: But maybe you do. They go out of their way on a normal day to just help you out. Perhaps it is just their way of life.

I really didn’t know them as well as I do now, when I lived at home. It wasn’t until my mother had died, that my father would talk of this neighbor’s kindness and enjoyed their company and friendship.

I felt comfortable knowing that Dad had someone looking out for him, especially if he came home late. Dad would light up, smile and chatter away when he saw them. Dad was a quiet man and kept to himself, except for this relationship.

After Dad died, this neighbor placed a solar light pole at the very spot where they would talk over the fence. It was a memorial to a loving friend and an “adopted Dad.”

The house stood empty for almost three years until it just sold. Just about every day the house was visited and tended to.

The grass was cut; the light bulbs were changed; the spigots were checked for leaks; the snow was removed and the dehumidifier was emptied.

This neighbor is pretty well known to his neighbors, to do extra stuff for those around him or are in need of an extra boost. He had the keys to my parents’ home and now has the keys of respect and love to my heart.

God places His angels in just the right areas and He dresses them up to look like everyone else. We miss “seeing” them and their wonderful acts of kindness, until they are right beside us at the right time.

I will be ever indebted to this couple for their generosity and selflessness and for the peace that I had knowing that they were there, still keeping watch.

There are angels amongst us. They are called neighbors. They are called true friends.

Love and gratitude,

Leslie Bowen

Waynesboro, Va.

(Fred and Esta Willison’s daughter and family, Winslow Street, Cumberland)