Aldon was just spending another normal day, watering his front door when a neighbor was walking by. Aldon greeted the neighbor and asked her about her partner. At his shock, the woman responded that her husband sadly passed away, Aldon reached out and gave her a much-needed hug.
All photos were used with the explicit permission of Aldon O’neill Ward III
Aldon O’Neill Ward III is the Mr. Rogers of his neighborhood, the kind of neighbor everyone hopes to have. When people in the neighborhood walk past his yard, they usually leave with a big smile.
Aldon had noticed an elderly couple who went out walking together every morning and evening for years. They wore matching windbreaker outfits with white walking shoes, and each had a walking stick. They were always happy and in a good mood, even if it was raining. They waved at Aldon and blew kisses at Aldon’s dogs as they passed, he wrote in a Facebook post.
Aldon didn’t know their names, but he did know which house they lived in, and they clearly knew where he lived with his dogs. Sometimes the couple would stop to chat briefly before continuing with their promenade.
And then, one day, Aldon was outside with his standard poodle, Griswold, who was standing guard against any invading squirrels. Aldon had just laid down some fresh sod in his yard and was watering it when he noticed one member of the couple, alone, was walking down the street. He says he waved, and she waved back, and then he asked, jokingly, “Where’s the better half?”
The elderly woman looked at him and said in a trembling voice while crying:
“I don’t have him anymore.”
Aldon dropped everything and rushed out into the street. He invited the woman into a hug and gave her a bear-hug like she was his own grandma. She sobbed against his chest for a few minutes.
She softly said she was trying to continue on with her life the way it was before, and then set off, determined to finish her walk, alone. Sometimes a hug from a stranger is exactly what you need to give you enough inner strength to face the trials and tribulations of life.
Since 2011 I’ve seen an older couple walking the neighborhood every morning and evening. Matching windbreaker outfits, large white new balance sneakers and a stick in hand. Every day, they’d wave and blow kisses at the dogs. Always saying what a beautiful day it was even if they were walking in the rain without an umbrella. We never exchanged names but I knew where they lived and they knew where the boys and I lived. The year is 2015. The top and doors are off my Jeep and I’m returning from beach with Ares my red Doberman. I’m flipping through songs to use for an edit and started the Maroon 5 cover of “The Way You Look Tonight”. Volume maxed out I entered the neighborhood and made my way to my front drive. As I turned onto my street I saw the couple walking as usual with matching windbreaker outfits and big stick for protection (🤷🏻♂️). As I passed them en route to my driveway, they turned and looked at me with huger smiles on their faces. The man motioned for me to turn up the music just as I was reaching for the knob to turn it down. The huge mud tires whirred slowly to a stop On the concrete. After getting out of the jeep while they walked by the front yard, the man exclaimed “Sure is wonderful to hear stuff like that being played by a young’n!” As he he swung his wife’s hand up and over her head twirling her in her oversized all white NewBalance walking shoes with teal stripes. As the years flew by, they’d pass while I was working out, landscaping or wrenching on the truck. Anything from Alan Jackson and Metallica to Thomas Rhett and Lil Wayne would be pouring from my open garage door or split level front yard. They always smiled, they always waved and they always danced. Present day… I’m watering my freshly laid sod. Griswold my standard poodle is close by vigilantly protecting me from dragon flies and the occasional squirrel. A windbreaker suit swooshes slowly down the street below. Alone, the woman approaches. I wave, she waves. I exclaim in a joking manner, “where’s the better half?”.Her stride slowed and she began to shake her head. She looked up at me through her large blinder style sunglasses and with a trembling voice said “I don’t have him anymore.”My heart sank. I rushed down to the street already feeling tight in my own chest. “ma’am?” I said, as I approached her. She turned and with tears streaming from behind here large sunglasses not another word was spoken, we hugged. Big hugged. Like she was my mom or my grandmother. She sobbed into my chest for a moment and said “I’m just trying do the things that we used to so I still feel like he’s around…. I needed that hug more than you know, thank you for all the music.” Hug ‘em big, folks.
Gepostet von Aldon O'neill Ward III am Montag, 17. Februar 2020
If this story moved you to tears, consider forwarding it to everyone you know.