I first met Roy when I was moving into my new home. I was alone, my wife had the two young boys with her. I'd brought the very first load up to our new house.
I was using an old ambulance as a moving van.
Roy came over from across the street, and offered to help. An older man, with hair combed over. Not overly rough around the edges, he reminded me of a southern gentleman just without the accent.
It was the start of a friendship. Roy was the most neighborly of neighbors. You see, in the prior twelve years my wife and I had moved twelve times.
In all that time, and all those places, we barely ever knew a neighbor. In just a few moments, Roy was able to surpass them all.
A few months later, our first winter in the house. I hadn't winterized properly and a pipe burst. My wife discovered it at six in the morning.
I didn't know what to do, being clueless with all things mechanical, but Roy seemed the type who might, so he was the first one I called.
I don't think it took thirty seconds for him to leave his home and get my water shut off. Even with the shutoff buried in the snow.
He then helped me fix the pipe, and the problem was quickly solved. No plumber fees.
Roy was always willing to lend a hand, and he never asked anything in return. He'd watch the kids on short notice, gave me a ride when I needed a medical procedure.
Even provided us a heater during a power outage.
I only discussed politics with Roy once. We didn't agree. But I didn't mind. Because it didn't matter that we had that difference of opinion, I still respected the man and his point of view.
When I found out he was in the hospital I was worried. Roy was an ornery old codger as I liked to lovingly refer to him, but I had a bad feeling.
When I was told he'd passed I somehow wasn't surprised, like maybe it was just his time, but it is such a shame.
Of all the deaths in my short life his will be felt the most. He was always good for a conversation, or a favor. He was my favorite neighbor.