My mother had stated many times in the last two decades that she would never leave her house - the dream home she designed and built herself (with some help). It was the culmination of a lifetime of hope and saving. It was her ultimate art piece, her greatest source of pride.
She had lived there since 2000, guiding the building process along every step of the way as her friends and helpers slowly turned a vacant lot into a beautiful, spacious and modern home with soaring ceilings, massive gallery-style walls, an art studio, a Koi pond and generous entertaining spaces surrounding it.
It was truly a reflection of all she was, and was exactly the home she wanted to be surrounded and energized and inspired by every day of her life.
When she suddenly passed this year, my brother and I had to get to work to settle her affairs. After several weeks of labor and planning, we came to the same conclusion: we would have to sell her beautiful home.
This decision was not reached quickly or easily.
We knew that selling this house to someone else meant we had to be 100% involved in the process of selecting the prospective buyer. We needed to be absolutely certain that the people who bought the house were artists, and understood and appreciated the house for exactly what it was created for. There would need to be art, life, joy, hope, inspiration, friends, and life in abundance.
Because in many very important ways, the home was her. Her home embodied all of the attributes of art, life, joy, hope, inspiration, friends and life. It was a work of spirit as much as of wood, stone and glass. There was absolutely no way to simply get rid of the old place and walk away clapping the dust off our hands in satisfaction.
And now, the curtain once again rises on a new life in that house, as we have a young couple buying the house just this week. They provided a letter of reference giving us some insight into their life, who they are, and just what they appreciate about the house. To us, they sound ideal: artistic and creative, joyful and enthusiastic, looking to be near family and friends. They are getting married later this month, they have a wonderful little golden doodle dog (which mom would have loved) and have already adopted the fish as their own, even before the paperwork is completed.
My brother and I are very excited to know that the future occupants will love the house as much as we do, and have every intention of restoring it to its original glory without trying to change it into something it was never meant to be.
Our hope is that we can maintain a friendly relationship with them and be able to stop by from time to time for a visit. I'd like to see the Koi again and maybe tell some tales about my mom and maybe provide some insight as to a color choice or a architectural style. There's a lot to be known about the house, and my wish is that they are open to hearing all of the stories.
It sounds odd to say I'm handing my mom off to another family, but it feels that way in a lot of aspects. My prayer is that they take good care of her.