Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Shock

Over the last couple weeks, we've been having the fence we share with our neighbors in back of us replaced (a portion of it blew down during the last storm) and this has meant we've had more communication than ever before with the couple, Rolph and Hunt, who live in back of us. They bought their house several years ago and have been making great home improvements inside and out. Before our trip, we had a painter come out to bid on the job of staining the redwood (the last phase of work). This morning, just about the time the bid sheet flew through the mailbox slot in our door, the phone rang. It was our neighbor on the right, who is very good friends with our neighbors in back. She was calling, she said, on behalf of Hunt. He asked her to call us and see if we could postpone the staining process. I immediately assumed that they were just financially strapped and wondered why she would be the one to tell us, but she continued on without taking a breath to say that Rolph had suffered a massive heart attack about 11 am yesterday (while working from home) and died. I almost can't believe it. He was in his mid-40s, I think. We would sometimes run into him at the gym. Maureen (my neighbor) was clearly still trying to come to grips with it herself, saying "You know, if someone has asked me who would be the next to go on the circle, I would have said [super elderly woman with a live-in nurse] or one of the [surname of original owners in the area], who are also really elderly. You just never know. It's true that he was an incredible smoker (we used to complain to ourselves about the smoke wafting over the fence while we tried to enjoy our backyard), but he seemed to be in such good shape. Wow...so sad.

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