Nothing Lasts Forever

July 4, 2010 at 1:00 am 11 comments

Google Earth Photo
It was Saturday morning. I woke up to the sounds of the chainsaw and falling tree branches. When I looked out the window to investigate, I traced the noise coming from the house across the street. In front of the house were two trees standing side by side. The current owner had decided it was time for them to go.

I knew the former owner of the house. Her name was H. She was the first person I met when I moved into the neighborhood. She must be in her 70s then. She was of Chinese heritage. She had a distinguished face with an aquiline nose. When she told me that she came from a well-to-do family in China, I believed her.

H. said that she and her husband decided to move to the area in the 50s or 60s. They were newly-weds at that time. When they looked for a house to buy, however, nobody would sell them a house telling them to go somewhere else. Since they were Asian, people in this redneck neighborhood believed their presence would cause property values to go down. But, eventually, their persistence paid off. They found the house across the street, which they paid in cash.

It’s a rambler or a ranch-type house. It’s a typical house with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and two-car garage. It has a nice backyard with fruit trees. One time she told me that her husband started to build a small gazebo in the backyard when their two daughters were still little, but he died without ever finishing it. The current owner had it torn down when he took over the house.

I used to help H. mow the grass in her front yard twice a month. The neighborly gesture got extended to pulling the weeds and clearing the backyard. It could have included trimming the trees, too, had I not told her I’m afraid of heights. It was at this time when I felt our relationship was getting too close for comfort. Rightly or wrongly, I felt being used. I stopped showing up at her door. I started being creative in making up excuses.

When H. died, one of the daughters came and cleared the house of her parents’ stuff and had it put up for sale right away. The house didn’t stay in the market for too long. It was sold within a month.

As I watched the trees being cut down, I felt a little sadness. I remember the summers when I parked my car under the shade of those trees to protect it from the sun. Although Google Earth still show them, it won’t be long when nobody would remember they were there. Even H.’s memory would soon be a blur. I guess I better get used to change. In this life, nothing lasts forever.

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11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. candice salazar  |  July 4, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    “rightly or wrongly” in your situation ,I may feel the same way.In a coffee shop, I once reprimanded an elderly woman for telling me to move out of the table because she wanted to be by herlsef . My eyes were burning with anger, blatant racism was in my mind.Later i felt bad, maybe she has dementia. In your case, I am sure she appreciates your help, what you did was more than enough.

    • 2. plaridel  |  July 5, 2010 at 1:37 pm


      actually, she was a nice person. it was far more likely it had to do with me not wanting to wake up early on saturday mornings to do yard work. πŸ™‚

  • 3. J. Kulisap  |  July 5, 2010 at 1:20 am

    Buhay pa ako pre, bigla kitang namiss.

    Nagbago kasi ako ng bahay.

    Namiss mo ako?

    Pakiss nga. Yan, madami ha?

    • 4. plaridel  |  July 5, 2010 at 1:39 pm


      welcome back, pre. akala ko eh namundok ka na. πŸ™‚

  • 5. orville  |  July 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    rightly or wrongly but service is of no regrets and reserves. you have done such a noble act of kindness to your neighbor and yes you are right that there’s nothing permanent in this world but God remembers even the littlest details of everything you have done in this life. be strong and take courage. πŸ™‚

    • 6. plaridel  |  July 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm


      at the end of the day, i hope that the good will compensate for the bad things that we’ve done in this life. πŸ™‚

  • 7. AC  |  July 6, 2010 at 4:55 am

    awwww… so do you miss h and your mowing “moments”? was she nice?

    • 8. plaridel  |  July 6, 2010 at 2:11 pm


      she was a good neighbor. by the way, this post isn’t only about h. and her trees. it’s also a requiem for the neighborhood that’s changing so fast.

  • 9. AC  |  July 6, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    yep yep πŸ™‚

  • 10. virtualanimosity  |  July 7, 2010 at 12:17 am

    im back. hope im not too late.

    “it’s also a requiem for the neighborhood that’s changing so fast.” — so true. not just that, i guess everything change in a rapid way we cant seem to cope at times that we tend to just lay back and…tulad netong post mo, reminisce the good old times.

    sad lang why do the tree has to go. tsk tsk san jan house mo plaridel?

    • 11. plaridel  |  July 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm


      i live just across the street.


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