Mad for…Judy

The happiest people I know are people who don’t even think about being happy. They just think about being good neighbors, good people. And then happiness sort of sneaks in the back window while they are busy doing good. – Harold S. Kushner

We moved into our current home about 5 years ago? It was a new build, and we were one of the last families to arrive. We were here a short time with our 3 boys when there was a knock on the door. It was our next door neighbor, Judy Sullivan. She had a pie in her hand. Nuff said, right? People just don’t welcome new neighbors like that anymore, so it was impossible not to notice the kindness and her warmth immediately.

Judy lives with her daughter, Meghan, and son in law, Grady Dunlap along with their three children, Sam, Matt and Lily. When we moved, we knew we’d be further from the grade school that our youngest still attended. That was certainly one of the “cons” for making the move as we knew it meant I would be driving Zach both to and from his Catholic school in Fishers. Turns out, I was wrong. You see, Judy’s grandkids attend the same school. What were the odds?

In the time since that realization, Judy has taken Z to school most mornings. If my schedule features an unexpected interruption from the norm, when I text the Dunlaps and Judy about the issue, ALMOST ALWAYS, Judy replies “I’ve got them!”

When I run into her, I can always hear the smile in her voice as she asks how we are doing. When she has occasionally shared with me about some of her fun and travels, I marvel at the genuine gratefulness and joyfulness with which she speaks. When I’ve become ill, she’s insisted on bringing some food over to help out.

I hear her grandkids (from my backseat in the PM carpool line) talk about her bridge club, her support for them and their interests, and so much more. I see her at mass with her daughter’s family setting an example of faithfulness. To me, Judy is an everyday hero for the brave way she just does what’s needed, with a smile and a kind heart.

Judy? I think you are a simply marvelous human, and I’m so glad you live next door.

I hope one day I am blessed enough to be a grandma so I can try and be just a little bit like Judy.

“I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.” -Maya Angelou

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