For Love of Neighbor

I live in a relatively quiet neighborhood.  We aren't like a desperate housewife group or anything, but we are close-knit.  After this weekend, I learned what love of neighbor was all about!  Truly, I've never heard of such a phenomenal example of thinking of another before yourself!

Before I start, you should know the child in question was fine in the end, though it was - undoubtedly - a frightening moment that will be remembered forever by my friend!

DD's four year old was choking on a jawbreaker on Saturday morning.  (Yes, DD swears that she will be more vigilant in the future about not allowing hard candy in the house. If you do, let this be a lesson to you!  I don't allow hard candy until the child turns 10.  We still don't have it in my house b/c my youngest is only 7, much to the chagrin of my 14 year old!)  But I digress....

Austin was choking on a jawbreaker.  Seriously choking (is there another way?) turning blue and going limp.  John, the father, was trying to dislodge said candy to no avail.  When Austin went limp, he screamed at DD to get help.  She ran to our neighbor (Thelma) who lives next door to her and is a pediatrician.  It is 8:15 on a Saturday morning.  DD bangs on the back door yelling hysterically (can we blame her?) until Chip answers the door and lets her in.  She's trying to communicate the life-threatening situation and that she needs Thelma NOW.  Chip goes running upstairs to get Thelma.

Thelma, meanwhile, is just starting to enjoy her leisurely Saturday shower.  Chip comes running in to tell her she needs to get out now - if I didn't mention it, they are both Greek so imagine the hand gestures and emotions in this conversation!  Thelma looks at Chip as though he's lost his mind and says, "I'm in the shower, can't this wait?".  Chip says it's life-threatening and she needs to go downstairs NOW!  So, having taken the Hippocratic oath, Thelma gets out of the shower grabs a towel and runs downstairs.  She's thinking they brought the child over to her for whatever is wrong (at this point she has no idea about the candy). 

When Thelma gets downstairs, she realizes the child is not in her house but across the backyard in DD's house. She is pushed out the door by her husband and parents and in the process loses the towel.  This is the love of neighbor part - rather than go back for the towel and waste precious moments that may save the child - she streaks through the backyard following DD.  She's saying, "I'm nude!  I'm nude!" as she runs across the yard.  (One can't help but wonder what Ethel and Fred are thinking as they sit on the back porch with their morning newspaper and coffee!  Did I mention they are new to the neighborhood!?!?!)

DD, noting the fact that Thelma is, indeed, nude - runs into the house screaming, "Don't look John!  Thelma is naked!".  When they arrive, they find out that John has managed to dislodge the candy, but Austin didn't expel it.  Thelma has to then check out the child - still she is wearing nothing, but her little black bag!  She says, sheepishly, as she's trying to cover herself, "Hi John!"  John, very kindly, leaves the room in order to give Thelma a bit of privacy.  Note that no one gets her a towel!  But stay in the moment, the focus is on the child!

A minute later, Chip comes running in with a t-shirt for Thelma.  (A t-shirt!  Well, better than nothing.) Two minutes later, Anthony (Thelma's 7 year old, comes in with panties and pants - Thelma's mom, who was visiting, thought she might like these too!).  I can't help but go back to Ethel and Fred on their back porch watching the parade and scratching their heads! 

Austin is checked out and is okay, but needs to go to the ER for x-raysto make sure the candy has not been aspirated into the lungs.  He's doing fine and has had no ill effects.

I'm telling you - I will now use this as the final determination of a physician's level of care and the basis for determining the definition of friendship and love of neighbor!  Would you streak across the yard on a Saturday morning to save my child!?!?!?!?! 

When I went to check on DD later that day, John told me the new rule was that neighbor's wives weren't allowed to wear clothes in his house!  We don't visit DD anymore!!! HA!  Needless to say, we are all planning on wearing trench coats and going as streakers for Halloween!

I was going to offer this as a category for our monthly story, but can you really top this one?

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