Her House

I never knew the woman.  And when she needed to sell her house to move into an assisted living home closer to her children, I felt sad and a little bit guilty about buying it.  I know that story well… someone needing to leave their beloved place behind… the place they’ve called home, where they’ve celebrated life’s events, gathered around the family table, worked in the yard, raised families.  It’s a necessary but difficult farewell.

These days you don’t even meet the seller sometimes.  So we signed papers, never met her nor her son, and she moved away, and I was sad about that.

But the sweetest thing happened.  One of my favorite families moved in to rent the house from us.  A young couple with precious little children.  And this sweet young woman sent me message after message in those first few weeks of living there… all about how much they loved the house, how wonderful the flowerbeds were, how much they were enjoying the porch, how perfect it was for them.  How I wished the older woman could know that her home was being cherished, and the years of labor she put into her flowerbeds were so greatly appreciated by another generation.  I thought of sending a card to her son, and knew I should get into my files and find his address.  But I didn’t do it.

And then, just weeks after she had moved away from Portales, I saw her obituary in the paper.  I never told her about her house.  I was determined to tell her family.

What a large family!  What a kind family!  They all returned to Portales to lay their mother to rest, and it was my privilege to meet them at the time they set aside for family visitation.  I loved telling them about the family living in her house, and they loved hearing it.  They’d all driven by already, and were delighted to see that the yard was being cared for.

Knowing my sweet “renter” like I do, I knew she’d be thrilled for anyone in this family to come over to the house, so I gave her a call… and of course… she wanted them to come over!    I can’t wait to tell you the happy ending to this story!  Trying to figure out how to say this right…

The young woman renting the house has a cousin who lives in Dallas.  This cousin is married to the granddaughter of the woman who owned the house.  They had no idea!  They learned it that night when the family went over to see the house one more time.  Her house stayed “in the family”!

I love a happy ending.  I love big families.  I love my renters.

23 Responses to “Her House”

  1. Carlee says:

    I LOVE my landlord! This house is truly SUCH a blessing to us! We LOVE it…everything is starting to bloom again, after the terrible heat spell, and it is just so beautiful! Couldn’t ask for a better place!

  2. Carlee says:

    Here is a link to some more pictures of the beautiful flowers that Mrs. Ruby left for us:


    -You may have to copy and paste it to be able to view them!-

  3. Sandy says:

    Oh Carlee! See what I mean about sweet!! You’re the best!

  4. Pam says:

    I choked up reading this, even though I already knew how it was going to end. What a small world we live in and what a wonderful God who loves us, who spreads His blessings over us in so many wonderful and unique ways!

  5. Darla says:

    ….and I’M the granddaughter! What a small world indeed. I am thrilled Grandma’s house is still “in the family.” What are the chances? Some things just can’t be explained….and I like it that way.

  6. Sandy says:

    Oh Darla! How wonderful to “meet you”. It couldn’t have had a happier ending. I know your Grandma must have been a very special woman, and I’m honored to own her house. We’ll all take very good care of it!

  7. Susan Hopkins says:

    Mom loved that house!! She loved her flowers and, as you stated, took great care of them. She hated leaving Portales, but knew it was for the best at that time. Thank you, thank you for taking care of her wonderful home. She would have loved that. The fact that the renters are related to Darla…my niece, if absolutely amazing! God is good.

  8. Sandy says:

    Susan, it’s such a pleasure to be involved in this “story”. God is so very good to us… giving us so many roses to smell along our pathways. So thankful your mother’s roses came into my life!

  9. Sharon says:

    Isn’t this terrific? I met a man and his family from Conneticut in Ireland who had grown up in Kilarney. The first day of his visit back to Ireland, suffering from jet lag the family decided to take a walk around the “old neighborhood” and found workmen at his childhood home. They let them go inside and look around and the wall paper that had been there when a child was still there. The entire family said this encounter was the best part of their trip…how great that a family can joyfully return home. What a treasure.

  10. Cheryl says:

    The only thing that made selling Mom’s house in AL bearable was knowing that the family moving in with 3 young girls and horses would be making wonderful memories there just as all the now grown grandchidren did during their childhoods. This kind family is adding on to the house, making needed upgrades to the house and the farm and they have invited us to come and visit whenever we’re in town. Change is hard but God seems to give us little serendipities to make it bearable. Thanks for sharing this heartwarming story.

  11. Kim says:

    What a wonderful story with a happy ending! The roses are beautiful!

  12. Denise says:

    I am another granddaughter that lives in Dallas. Grandma always had beautiful flowers and she could grow anything or bring it back to life. She lived about 14 miles from my house here when she moved into her apartment. She had an adorable place here and I miss going by to see her so much. I know that one day we will see her beautiful face again and get to hug her and spend time with her again. I cannot WAIT for that day to come.

  13. Sandy says:

    Denise, thanks so much for sharing more about your Grandma. Do you know the hymn, “Where the Roses Never Fade”? I love that song. Haven’t thought of it in ages. I’m happily reminded of it now. Blessings to you and your family.

  14. Clara says:

    I loved that story, and I think I knew her?. Words can take you places that you have never been before ,and thank you for taking me back home.

  15. Bette says:

    I love this heartwarming story!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  16. Micah says:

    So now I’m crying! I think I will drive by today to see the roses of a gardener who was well loved by her family!

  17. Judy says:

    I was browsing Facebook tonight when I came across “Her House.” Just reading the title, I somehow knew it had to be Mom’s house. And as I read, yes it was. Thank you so much, Sandy, for coming to the viewing so we could meet you and for making it possible for my sister, a niece and I to stop by and meet Carlee and to see Mom’s house as it is now with a young family calling it home. The guest room where we slept as guests is now “pretty in pink” for her two little girls. It is amazing that when things seem so difficult,so often there is a happy ending. (And the red barn where you live–I have seen it often on our many visits to Portales.)
    I’m sure I won’t be visiting Portales again, but thank you for keeping Mom’s legacy alive through “Her House”.

  18. Sandy says:

    Judy, I’m so happy you came across “Her House”. Thank you so much for sharing with us all. I’m so very thankful to have been a part of this story. Your family has touched my heart! We will all take very good care of your mother’s home and her flowers!

  19. Margret Jonsson Evangelista says:

    Sandy, I missed this story while out of town on vacation, and am just catching up on your wonderful posts. For a moment, I thought you might be writing about another beautiful garden in the neighborhood that I knew so well . . .

    I’m glad to see this story repeats itself. It is good to know the things we create with love live on for others to enjoy. A little bit of immortality on earth . . . !!! Thanks for sharing this precious story.

  20. Betty Jean says:

    I’m the oldest daughter. I thoroughly enjoyed the story of “Her House”. I am very impressed with all the nice things that have been said about Mom’s house and that the young family who are living in Mom’s house are enjoying it so much. My husband and I would go help Mom every October with things that she couldn’t do anymore. We will miss going to visit her, but God is good. Sandy, I didn’t get to meet you when we were in Portales for Mom’s funeral, but I hope that we will be able to meet you sometime in the future. Thanks for the lovely story about Mom’s house.

  21. Sandy says:

    Betty, thank you so much for adding your thoughts. I’m so happy that I could share just a little bit about your mom’s house. I could tell by meeting your family, and also just by being in her house, that she was very special. Anytime any of your family comes to Portales, you are welcome to come by my barn, and most certainly to go see “her house”.

  22. Betty Williamson says:

    I somehow missed seeing this when you first posted it. What a wonderful, wonderful story. Glad to see it now. It’s just one more of your pieces that deserves yet a wider audience.

  23. cindy says:

    love it

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