I knew he wouldn’t leave.
He informed me many times over that he had no intention of leaving the “starter” house we had purchased what seems like a thousand years ago.
I knew in my heart that he wouldn’t. He wanted that house, and I never did.
I grabbed the overdue water bill off the counter and took a drive along the back way, through some farmland and down a lonely stretch of road. I hadn’t traveled this route recently, but was searching for some quiet time to collect my thoughts.
That’s when I spotted it.
It was nestled among some glorious pine trees, standing tall supported by its incredible stonework and lovely front porch. There was a “For Sale” sign in front of the house, and I was drawn to it.
It was next door to the water authority and after I paid the bill I turned the car around and drove by it again. I turned around at the end of the road, and went by it AGAIN. It was magnificent. But it was for sale, not for rent.
And so I went about the next two weeks looking at townhouses, condos, and various houses for rent. I was hopeful, but all the while that house was a nagging thought in my heart. It woke me up at night, and distracted me during the day.
I went to my computer one day and emailed the real estate agent who was being so patient. I mentioned the house, and asked if he would check with the owners to see if they would be interested in renting to me. For a certain price; perhaps allowing me to move asap.
He called me the next day and said, “Yes! They said they would definitely rent! They would, however, like to meet you this weekend. Can you make it Saturday? And perhaps we should actually take a look INSIDE the house, just to be sure.”
I laughed, and arranged to meet him at the house the next afternoon.
I arrived a bit early (not a surprise for anyone who remotely knows me) and sat on the wooden swing hanging on the front porch. My heart was all aquiver. I glanced across the street to the horses whinnying and prancing around their small enclosed pasture.
Jack arrived, opened the door and we entered the home.
I am not sure how to adequately explain the feelings I experienced as we walked from room to room in this quaint, old-fashioned home. The living room walls were expertly decorated with lovely wallpaper that reminded me of the mother’s talent for that same thing. I smiled as I noticed the tall pipes in the corner lined with the same wallpaper so expertly that if you weren’t looking closely you would never have known there were pipes there. My mother had done the exact same thing.
The radiators in each room clanked in an old familiar rhythm, and tears sprung to my eyes.
I felt as if I had come home; and I started to cry.
I have to give Jack credit for he laughed and smiled as I apologized profusely for blubbering like an idiot. And I’m not sure that I have yet to convince him that I’m not.
We walked room to room, and I fell in love. I had to live in this house. We parted ways, planning on a time and place to meet with the owners, and I returned home.
He called me that same night. “The owners spoke to someone who knows you very well. You received a glowing recommendation, and they don’t even need to meet you. They would like to know if you would consider a “rent to own” situation, and said you can move in at this end of this month. What do you think?”
And the nagging feeling in my heart telling me that this was the house for me suddenly turned into a glimmer, a pebble, a seed of hope.
And so I begin this journey toward self-respect, toward healing a broken heart, toward helping a family find it’s way through a sea of uncertainty. But I begin it in a home that has wrapped its arms around my heart.