dear neighbor

You don’t know me.

I don’t know you but I know who you are.  You dated a friend of mine a while back and I witnessed the happy pics of you on Facebook when you were together.  They were pics of  you and he dancing at the old hotel.

You looked beautiful.

I could tell that you were a drinker because, well, it takes one to know one;  but it wasn’t obvious.

I know things didn’t work out and you are in the same situation you were before, which wasn’t good or healthy.  I’m sorry and I so want to reach out to you.  Things…relationships, work, life in general….everything can be different.

You are in my prayers and if our paths cross again and you are sober I have promised the Lord that I would offer my hand.

In the meantime, I thank you.

You began to enter the shop but stopped short…you realized the liquor store was the next door down.  The glimpse I caught of you left me dumbstruck.  And very, very sad.

It was about 5 o’clock “happy hour”…

You looked as if you had just gotten out of bed.  I couldn’t tell if your cheek was black and blue or if it was a last-minute smear of makeup to try to look “presentable”.

You had a smile on your face that didn’t match your appearance.  It was more of a grin divorced from reality.

It broke my heart.

I know you won’t remember coming out for more.

I’m truly sorry…..


I have gained from your misery.

You have unknowingly made me stronger….

your face etched in sadness will be forever in my mind.

There, but for the grace of God go I.

Author: Elizabeth

Happy, joyous & free. Thanks be to God.

19 thoughts on “dear neighbor”

  1. Absolutely beautiful, Elizabeth. How kind you are to offer her your prayers. And it’s so true! There but for the grace of God. I see these same women where I live. I hope I have the courage to reach out when the chance arises. In the way my life works, I’m sure there’s an encounter on the way. Your blog was the heads-up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find those reminders good for me. Obviously I pray for the person who is struggling. I sometimes reach out, sometimes it’s just a stranger passing on the street and I see and recognize the dead eyes. Sad, but it shows me that there is always hope. And that I am grateful to be where I am.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was stunned Paul S- I couldn’t stop thinking about her for days. I felt so unbelievably sad- for someone I don’t know. I think it came too close to home. I think I so identified with her and I was more caught up in what could be for me. I’ve often asked Him for a vision- something I could recall in times of temptation. Although it’s been a little while, I think he gave me just that!


  3. I had a similar incident yesterday at the shop, at first I thought the guy trying to buy cigarettes was a bit mad but then realised he was completely motherlessly drunk. I felt so bad for him. There by the grace of God, I say these words every damn day of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing how others, neighbors, people in our lives can shake that old ghost in our bones. Then make us grateful we don’t live in that old skin. I love the form this blog post took. A letter you couldn’t send, filled with the words you had to write. And those that understand get to read it, and be helped by it. Prayers for you…and your neighbor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mark. I was so disturbed by seeing this woman as she was. I tried but couldn’t let her image go….it was too intimately woven with my own. Writing this “letter” was the only way I could let it be.


  5. This is so beautiful and melancholy. Reminds me of this weekend, I spent time with young woman in my family struggling with alcohol. The glimpse into her misery, just reminded me of our infinite sadness and fatigue when my husband was using. Want to reach out, not sure it’s my place.
    Best to you. ❤️❤️❤️


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