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  • Kristy Forbes

Compassion For A Neighbour

Updated: Feb 25


In 2011, the third of our four beautiful daughters was born. She didn't sleep. She didn't eat. She screamed around the clock in pain. I couldn't put her down. We were sleep deprived, anxious, panicked, overwhelmed, confused & I was battling postnatal depression. One quiet afternoon, my husband took the girls out & left baby & I alone to attempt to get some sleep. We snuggled down & miraculously, we both dozed off into a deep slumber, her in my arms, atop my chest. Five minutes in, we were catapulted awake by a neighbour banging away at the door, asking if our car was for sale. . I was livid. Fast forward two years & we call a company about a maintenance issue we're having in our home & an employee comes out to inspect. . It's the same neighbour. Our little darling had since been diagnosed as non verbal autistic alongside other medical issues & we were lost. We were devastated, confused, isolated, sleep deprived, traumatised, panicked, adrenalised & stressed. I sense our neighbour's stress too. He's frustrated & exclaims "How can you not see this needs replacing?!" regarding our maintenance issue. He pulls away in his car in a burnout, leaving tyre marks outside. I call the company & complain. Our neighbour returns to our door the same afternoon, teary eyed. . "I am so sorry, I shouldn't take my personal problems out on my customers, I'm so so sorry". I feel a deep sense of sadness for him & a strange sense of connection somehow. Last year, in 2017, I saw him for the first time in four years. . I was outside & heard the same sounds our daughter makes, & I saw him. I sensed that similar energy again. . He looked at peace. I saw him.. Holding the hand of his beautiful autistic son. His son is the same age as our daughter. I know because I recognised him. I hadn't realised our neighbour was his father. I realised so much in that single moment. The shared emotional journeys. I closed my eyes & I held the vision of both of us-our sad, sleep deprived eyes staring through each other that day at the door. And I am so sorry his day was that much more difficult at that time. If only I'd known. I now assume less & understand more.


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