I love surprises. I love planning them and I love being on the receiving end, too. This week Michael and I were surprised by a visitor who reminded us about what’s really important in life.
We bought our home almost ten years ago. It was a stretch for us. A really big stretch. We put pen to paper and figured out how to make it work and part of it hinged on not buying toiletries and only eating once a day. OK – that’s an exaggeration, but only a slight one.
We had stalked this property for about a year. We drove by it all the time and dreamed about owning it but we never thought it would be for sale. Then one day a friend who lived in the neighborhood of the “dream house” called to tell us the owners were putting it on the market. We called them that day, set up a time to take a look and fell in love.
It’s funny – we fell in love with the house, but also its owners. Mr. and Mrs. Farley were roughly the same age as our parents and practically treated us that way. Before we moved in they invited us over to review all of the ways in which they cared for the place and its many quirks. It was obvious they were a bit sad about leaving it.
We saw them off and on for a few years until they sold their business in Des Moines and moved to Minneapolis. We found out they’d done so because Mrs. Farley was sick and being treated at the University of Minnesota. She passed away almost a year and a half ago.
Yesterday I was doing some laundry and cooking before getting ready for work when Michael hollered “Honey! Mr. Farley’s here!” We had the nicest visit. Mr. Farley was interested in seeing the bathrooms we’ve remodeled (we bought a claw foot tub and pedestal sink from him) and hearing about how the old place was functioning, but mostly he just wanted to be there. He got a little misty talking about Mrs. Farley and told us that selling the place was quite emotional for them. We talked and talked and talked and I was struck by how much this man obviously loved (and still loves) his wife. It was a wonderful thing to see – and feel.
Thank you, Mr. Farley for a wonderful surprise. Thank for the reminder that things like a lovely home are nice, but the real joy comes from sharing them with those we love.
“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.” – Mother Teresa