Mr. and Mrs. Lodge live a street over from us. They are a part of Lovers Lane UMC and when I had Everett they brought us our newborn gift from the church (it was a cute onesie that said newest member or something like that). I don't know how it started, but the kids and I would visit Mr. and Mrs. Lodge every month or so and get ice cream. They have these chocolate bars from Braum's and they are delicious. Mrs. Lodge is on Weight Watchers like me and she would remind me that they were nonfat, I looked at Braum's and they really were! Mr. and Mrs. Lodge began calling the ice cream bars Madeleine bars. The kids love to visit Mr. and Mrs. Lodge.
About 6 weeks ago, we visited Mr. Lodge. Mrs. Lodge was at the vet's with their dog. Mr. Lodge said that he had taken his first round of chemo that day, he had battled cancer on and off for 5 years. Mr. Lodge said that he wasn't supposed to be around children because of the chemo and his reduced immunity, so this would have to be our last visit for a while. We ate our ice cream, and thin mint girl scout cookies, and had a great time with Mr. Lodge. He told the kids about when he was growing up on a dairy farm. Friday night Mrs. Lodge brought her grandchildren over to swing and said that Mr. Lodge was very near death. Madeleine made Mr. and Mrs. Lodge cards, they were hearts with "I love you!" written on them. Mr. Lodge passed away surrounded by his family that night.
I am so thankful for Mr. Lodge and for the kindness that he showed to me and to my children. It was like visiting my grandpa! Today I was telling someone about Mr. Lodge and it reminded me of our neighbor when I was growing up. His name was Mr. Stroebel and he lived next door. We would knock on his backdoor and he would give us candy. I loved Mr. Stroebel. It is such a blessing to live near all ages of people, but I give thanks today for the grandparents that are in my neighborhood. Thank you for loving me, for loving my children, and for the ice cream and candy.