How I Came to Miss a Man I Never Met

When R.J. and I bought our current home I knew it was coming with quite a bit of history since it was built and lived in by his grandparents. It also didn’t hurt that we bought it with much of their belongings and furniture. We filled a dumpster pretty quickly when we first moved in.

I had known R.J.’s grandmother for a few years before she died so I was familiar with the house. R.J.’s grandfather had died a couple of years before I met R.J. so I only had photos and stories of the man to go by. I had no idea how much more I would come to know him just by living in the house he built. Of course the pictures, negatives, and slides helped.

I’ve shared many of them on my blog over the past several years because he was such a talented photographer. I find it uncanny how many times I take the same photo he took way back when simply because I live in the same house he did for over 40 years. Which leads me to what happened the other day…

When we moved in we had a pink and a blue bathroom complete with tile going halfway up the walls. It took a while but we finally decided to remove the tile and update both bathrooms. We’ve done all the other renovations so the home isn’t like it used to be.

And, yet, I would still feel R.J.’s grandfather’s presence – for convenience I will refer to him as Gramps from here on out – in just about every room of the house. Especially when I was doing any renovating. It was weird at first. It was like he was there to guide me, comfort me, and sometimes yell at me.

Now I know some of you are probably thinking I’m nuts or just wanting to believe that Gramps was there. And that’s okay. You’re free to believe or not believe whatever you want.

All I know is that everything is made up of energy. And things tend to soak up that energy – our energy – so it makes sense that we would feel it even years later. Again, this is only my theory and you’re free to believe or not. But I want to ask you something. Have you ever walked into a house or a room for the first time and been overcome with feelings, usually negative, icky, nasty ones? Then you probably dismiss them as anxiety or something else and go on with whatever you were doing.

But what would happen if we paid attention to those feelings? What would happen if we were so in tune with the energy all around us we could appreciate and use what that energy had to teach us? I’m not sure. I can only go by my own experiences. I only know that once I removed the tile in our blue bathroom Gramps wasn’t there anymore. I can only assume he was able to move on to wherever he was supposed to go.

I am grateful to have had the time and experiences I did, no matter how ‘crazy’ it seems to others. It is only now, months later, I realize how much I’ve missed a man I never met.

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