It's one of my hidden talents that I can remember dates. Charlie is often amazed that in addition to my own family, I know the birthday of every one of his siblings, nieces and nephews.
Sometimes, I also remember unusual dates. For instance, it was a year ago today that the man who had lived in this house for almost 45 years, passed away. The reason I know that is because last year when we looked at this house for the first time and Charlie felt certain that there was a "presence", I Googled the name of the estate to see if I could learn more.
What I learned is that he was from a very influential family in the area, who were great benefactors to local society. My belief that he was a good man is supported by the kind words all the neighbors use when they speak of him.
I'm not sure why I felt the need to know any information about the first person to live in this house. I guess it's because to me this house isn't just a house ... it's a home where people have lived and loved and laughed and died. So as our family goes through, respectfully making this space our own ... as we paint (and paint and paint and paint and paint and paint and will the painting ever end?)
As we replace lights ...
And repair ceiling cracks ...
And install new outlets ...
And fix plumbing ...
We often think about the life that lived here before us. Sometimes, we stumble upon hand written notes that give us a little more insight to the man that made our home, his home, for almost half a century.
He was a man who kept notes and receipts. He kept a running record of when he changed the air filter and the name of the person who installed his kitchen faucet 23 years ago.
(Charlie needs to write smaller or he'll need a new index card in less than four years.)
It's been exactly one year since the man who lived in this house passed away, in this house. Although some might think it's odd for me to reflect on that since I never met him, I feel like our lives have touched his, simply because we've shared something intimately familiar.
Today, the friends and family that are still mourning his loss, are in our hearts.