Neighbors help neighbors in need. That may be true in Midwestern towns and in American lore, but just an hour south of Los Angeles? For residents of a tight-knit community in Costa Mesa, that maxim came to life one Saturday morning in June.
Jeannie Tuxford, a mother of two, had just lost her husband of 20 years to pancreatic cancer. She left her Mesa Verde home and traveled to his hometown near Toronto, where she spread his remains. Tuxford, 50, had left a bare refrigerator, disheveled garden and worn paint on her white picket fence.
For the last few months before her husband died at age 59, Tuxford found it more and more difficult to keep her and her daughters' lives together. She had supported George during his two-year battle against cancer while working full time as a travel agent. And right before the end, she was consumed by the round-the-clock care George required.