Our tenant moved out tonight. We have a back house that we built for family to stay in when they visit. Our visitor schedule was non-existent for a few months so we offered it as a summer rental. Because God is one step ahead of us, always, we found the sweetest gal to move in. She’s from Texas, full of energy, flexible, and her fiance is friends with many of our mutual friends. He was actually at a party we hosted at our previous home over seven years ago.
Our tenant legitimately loves kids and they love her back. I tried desperately to respect her space and boundaries, but simply couldn’t keep all three kids under control. They were drawn to her – her two wacky dogs, her whimsy, and her kindness. They would leave notes for her, knock on her door in the wee hours of the morning, beg to sleepover, and check outside often to see if her car was there. Our tenant had a particular soft spot for our most misunderstood child – our middle daughter. A week after meeting, our tenant crafted this post on Facebook and it was spot on:
Reasons why the middle Caver child is quickly becoming one of my favorite humans ever:
1) The very first time I met her, she planned my birthday party before learning my name.
2) She never questioned why I was wearing cat ears.
3) When she saw my cat ears she went to her room to see if she had a pair so we could match.
4) I gave her a calendar and she wanted me to point out the date so she could circle it because we hung out and “it was a really good day.”
5) On that same day, I came out of the bathroom to find her locked in the dog crate. Which she managed to do on her own.
6) It doesn’t take much for her to have a good day.
7) She literally forced me to take this picture, then when I counted to 3, this was the face I got…
8) I had never heard so many sentences come out of a single exhale before I met her.
9) She is 5, going on 25.
10) Today was the first day this week I didn’t wake up to her sliding a note or hand-drawn picture under my door, and I was actually sad about it.
So tonight, walking in to that empty back house, I was overcome with emotion. She is leaving earlier than expected so we can prepare the space for family or a nurse. I think that’s what made me break down. We are trading fun and innocence for this sad, practical need. It was a tangible reminder that Simon is sick. I’m not angry at anyone or anything, just deeply sad. There have been lots of tears tonight. It was the first time I really wanted my life from six weeks ago back.
Even though I used the term tenant for this post, she is so much more than that. She became part of our family during a time when family matters more than ever. One of these mornings, I’ll drive the kids to your new place so they can wake you up with notes under your doorway and cat ears on their heads.