To each his own. To me my own.

So long, Burt

It was backed up to his apartment when I got home from work Friday afternoon – a U-Haul truck of about mid-sized length. Burt was moving out.

Burt is a nice gentleman that I met shortly after I moved here back in Spring of 2008. I have to admit I was a bit intimidated upon first impression. His clean-shaven head and tattoos up around his neck definitely had me on my guard. I’ve always tried to be non-judgmental, but admittedly there are times when I allow first impressions to put that gate up, albeit temporarily. This seemed especially so upon starting over – I had trouble trusting anyone.

Burt would always be the one in the parking lot helping another resident do something – moving, working on a car, etc. Everyone knew him by first name, and he knew everyone else’s name as well. We used to have a handicapped neighbor who resided here for years that Burt was always helping out in some way. I’d just gotten home from work one day last summer when he walked over and told me our neighbor had passed away that morning. It was obviously emotional for him.

The office staff where I live took in three full grown cats abandoned by former tenants, and paid for their care, spay/neutering and shots. They then had the task of finding them homes. They decided to keep the last one (Mr. Whiskers) as their very own in the office – and trust me, this cat has it very good. One of the other adoptive parents? Burt.

As I walked over Friday to tell him goodbye, it appeared that the move itself was emotional for him. “I’m moving back to the beach where my girlfriend lives. I don’t know… guess this whole thing makes me vulnerable again”. It kind of hit home when he said that. Committing your self wholly to your relationship – giving up your own place to live, many of your belongings, furniture – your own home that you worked so hard to build – feeling as though you’re losing, in a sense, your very own identity. I quickly shook off the Ally McBeal psycho-flash I’d just had, and told him the first thing that came to my mind. “Nothing worth having is without risk. Go for it.”

You truly were a staple of the community, Burt. Good luck – and God speed.

4 responses

  1. I LOVE this, Bon. He sounds like a fine man. Isn’t it funny how, if we look beyond what we consider normal physical boundaries, there usually are treasures. Great post.

    October 11, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    • Bonnie ~ Life of Bon

      Thanks so much, izziedarling. That is so true!

      October 12, 2010 at 8:40 am

  2. Burt earned his good reputation with his kindness and good deeds and possibly changed the way the some people feel about tattoos. I am sorry to hear you lost a great neighbor. What a nice guy!Thank you for sharing.

    October 11, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    • Bonnie ~ Life of Bon

      Very true, Carol Ann. The more I think about it, I don’t know if it were just the fact that he looked intimidating as a man, and I was so skeptical of men in general (sorry guys). 🙂 My ex-husband had tattoos too. Yes, Burt was a gem – and will for sure be missed.

      October 12, 2010 at 8:46 am

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