Families, neighbors unite in time of need

Reagan S. Katz

First of all, let me begin this letter by saying that over the past few years, my confidence in our society to be good neighbors has been shaken almost to a breaking point. Too often we hear people say things like, "Why don't they do something about that" or, "What is their problem". What's unfortunate though is, too often these people have major problems going on in their life and could use a hand up instead of a verbal beat down.

My father, Roy Katz, is currently going through his 4th bout with stage 4 cancer. On father's day of this year, he slipped and fell at home and my mother was unable to help him to his feet. My wife and I were out of town and unable to help her when she called. Without hesitating, I placed a call to their neighbors, Eric and Dianne Weil. Mr. Eric had just had surgery on his knee a few weeks before, yet with a cast on his leg, he and Mrs. Dianne rushed to my parents to see what assistance they could offer. When it was determined that they would not be able to help him, they stayed with my mom until the ambulance arrived and they made the decision to bring him to the hospital.

After spending several weeks at Our lady of the lake, he returned home but has had a very hard time getting back to doing the every day activities in his yard that he once enjoyed. As a result, my family's once beautiful yard on Iberville Street fell into disarray. Without being asked and without getting anything in return, Mr. Eric and Mrs. Dianne went out of their way to help my wife and I clean up their yard as we try to return it to its once beautiful state. Without their help, I have no doubt that the project would not be nearly as far along as it is.

What makes this act of generosity so amazing is, my family and the Weil's have never had that hang out on the weekend, invite each other over for tea or coffee type of a relationship. Sure, we've lived next door to each other for going on 12 years now...if not more. But, to say we are bosom buddies that did all kinds of things together and would expect to be there for each other if one was in need of something....no, not really. The Weil's were simply being good neighbors. They saw someone in need and went out of their way to help them. They didn't want anything in return. They didn't expect a reward. They just wanted to help. If more people in the world today would be willing to help out their neighbors the way they did, the world would be such a better place to live in.

Oh, and by the way, for those of you who may not realize it, your neighbor does not always have to be the person living next door to you. It can be a person on the side of the road with a flat tire. It could be an elderly person having a hard time getting their groceries into their car at the supermarket. My point is, instead of doing nothing or criticizing, offer to help. Or, even better, don't offer...just help. Offering to help but not helping is no better than if you had not helped or offered at all. You may feel better about yourself because you offered and you may convince yourself that you did a good dead but yet, the other person still could use a hand.

It's the little things that can matter so much to others. You never know how far one act of kindness can go. Pay it forward!!

Thanks again Eric and Dianne!!

Reagan S. Katz