Randy Frazee: the high price of not reaching your neighbors

It can never be said that Adele Gaboury’s neighbors were less than responsible. When her front lawn grew hip-high, they had a local boy mow it down. When her pipes froze and burst, they had the water turned off. When the mail spilled out the front door, they called the police. The only thing they didn’t do was check to see if she was alive.

She wasn’t.

On Monday, police climbed her crumbling brick stoop, broke in the side door of her little blue house, and found what they believe to be the seventy-three-year-old woman’s skeletal remains sunk in a five-foot-high pile of trash, where they had apparently lain, perhaps for as long as four years.

“It’s not really a very friendly neighborhood,” said Eileen Dugan, seventy, once a close friend of Gaboury’s, whose house sits less than twenty feet from the dead woman’s home. “I’m as much to blame as anyone. She was alone and needed someone to talk to, but I was working two jobs and I was sick of her coming over at all hours. Eventually I stopped answering the door.” — Frazee, Randy; Larry Crabb; George Gallup; Dallas Willard (2009-05-19). The Connecting Church: Beyond Small Groups to Authentic Community (pp. 109-110). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.