Earlier this month, one of my neighbors moved. I didn't know him or his family well, but I did see him almost every weekday morning. I'd be leaving the building for work, and he'd be walking back from Starbucks with one (and sometimes two or three!) venti-sized cup(s). We spoke some days, but most days, it was just a head nod.
We were in the elevator together (randomly one Saturday morning) when I learned of the move. It was obvious that he was sad, having grown up in Manhattan. He said, "But the girls need space to grow up." He and his wife have two little girls, who are roughly around the ages of four and two. He continued, "At least we can say that they were born in Manhattan." It was confirmed that they were heading over to Jersey (which brought a slight chuckle from him), and then I expressed a simple (but hopefully heartfelt!) "Good luck!" before exiting on my floor.
Now, I've lived in four apartments during my time in the city, and admittedly, I haven't gotten to know my neighbors well at all. Sure, I've known the names of a handful over the years, but I haven't extended much hospitality or care passed the cliche greetings and elevator talk. Thus, this particular exchange struck me. Not because I knew this man or his family particularly well but because his daily rhythms had been somewhat intertwined with mine, and that was ending. Change, which often feels like life's only constant, was happening again.
I'm ending this now because I don't want this post to feel buttoned-up, and I don't want to fall into my usual "three points for life" outline. Ultimately, I want to keep reflecting on this change. I know it's impacting me, but I'm just not sure to what level. However, I'm praying even as I type this for a greater desire to love my neighbor well: humbly, cheerfully, and consistently.