"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Thursday, January 17, 2013

In Which I Join The Neighborhood Association

There is a tiny garden down the street from us, tucked between a couple of houses, surrounded by a metal fence and a rusted gate with curling decorations, not obviously belonging to anyone.... with a plaque in it reading "In Memorium." I have wandered by many times with the boys and wondered about it, trying to place which house it belonged to and thinking curiously about the woman whose name was inscribed there.

Just tonight, looking up our neighborhood organization (which I am always meaning to join and never getting around to) I noticed her name "Beverly Eckert" in past events from 2009. Turns out she was my neighbor, she lived in the house behind us, our backyards kiss, there is a family living there now who have big happy dogs who play catch with their balls back there. This lady who has now become a name on a plaque to me, in an overgrown garden behind a rusted gate had quite an interesting story. Her husband died in the 9/11 attacks in the towers while she talked to him on the phone. Beverly then devoted herself to community life, to activism, to tutoring children and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and planting gardens and painting murals in my neighborhood. Small things...ways to make good in her world. And then in 2009 she was killed in a plane crash, and the neighbors with the big dogs moved in.

And that's how she became a name on a plaque in an overgrown garden down the street. 

I think I'll go join my neighborhood association now.

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