It comes as no surprise that with every ending there is a new beginning. But sometimes, when I find myself at the brink of a beginning, I don't remember all of the endings that may be involved. For instance, moving into this house is an end to our renting days. It's an end to living with my in-laws. It's also an end to the seller.
We had the privilage of meeting her (let's call her Mrs. S) this week, for the first time. She is 80-some years old, and has moved into a retirement residence. She must weigh less than 100 lbs, smokes, and uses a walker. She asked us to come over so she could tell us a few things about the house, and so we could discuss some furniture and other items she had and wanted to get rid of. She has very kindly offered to leave us numerous items, free of charge, including two single beds, a dresser (or three), a "craft" table, a laundry drying rack, all of her garden tools, lawn chairs, a glider, knitting needles, a filing cabinet, a desk, garment storage bags, etc... I am actually excited to see what we find the day we get the house. We kept telling her she can leave whatever she wants. If she's just giving it away, or to goodwill, or to the dump, we will gladly take it and either keep it, or dispose of it for her. There are also a great number of items she is offering to sell us. We are waiting to hear what she'd like to charge for these items so we can decide if we can afford them. She has a beautiful dining set that we're particularly interested in. She is one of the dearest people I've ever met. I instantly loved her. She said that she hopes we'll have as many happy years in the house as she has. She's not sad to leave. She says she will not cry.
We're all dying, but some sooner than others I suppose. She's been on dialysis for a year, but hated it and 10 weeks ago decided to quit. Her doctor (whom she says looks like a Greek god) told her she may only have 3 weeks to live. She's lasted 7 weeks longer than that already.
It makes me sad to realize our new beginning is tied to this ending... I realize death is a fact of life. But I wish for just a little more time to get to know this woman, and learn her stories. I'd like to hear about all these items she's leaving with us, like the desk that was her husbands. It's huge, solid oak, and painted green because that was his favourite colour. Like the red oak tree in the front yard, and how the man who cuts the lawn says oak trees have no business being in residential areas, they belong in the forest, because he has to rake up all the acorns. The linden trees in the back yard: the one on the left is the female, the one on the right is the male, but she doesn't know why that's important. There are two naval maps on the walls, and she said they have significance, but didn't elaborate on what that was.
There are many stories in this new house we may never learn.