I had been looking through some old images the other day when I came across a picture with a name and address on it. Back when we were living in the farm house, I kept misplacing our landlord’s address, so one day I took a photo of the envelope with our rent check before I put it in the mail. Then each month I would scroll through my pictures to find his address again. (Why not write it down and store it somewhere safe, you ask?… That’s not really my personality. I wish it was. My life would be much easier if it was!!!)
Anyways, it was that picture that I ran across the other day. I had not seen him since a few days before we moved out of the farmhouse in early 2015. It’s been over two years. Out of curiosity, I googled his name and found what I feared I might find.
Mr. Wiggins is dead.
There was scant information, only that he was 92 years old. It happened back in October. When I looked up the date I realized it was the day we spent at the pumpkin patch, a week after I found out I was pregnant. I thought about how happy I was on that day. I wish we had learned about his passing back then. We would have gone to his funeral.
Mr. Wiggins was a nice man. He was a good man. And from the conversations that we had, a Christian man. He was incredibly active, showing up at the house on more weekends than not, to work around they yard or repair something in the house. As frustrating as that house was, it was a delight to him. It had belonged to his late wife’s family and she had always hoped to move into it. She died before they got the chance. The original house was only four rooms (two downstairs, and two upstairs.) Everything else was added on later… the kitchen, dining room, bathrooms, etc were all built on, and mostly by Mr. Wiggins in his youth. About six months after we moved in he had the kitchen semi-remodeled so that we would have a better functioning space to use.He took such pride in that house and enjoyed telling us the stories about simpler times. He would watch the kids play in the yard and he would tell us that he hoped we would live there for the next fifty years. He knew he wouldn’t be around forever, but he made good use of the time that he had, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had reached 100. He used to collect items for a church near his home and he would often walk down and visit his sisters-in-law that lived in the neighboring houses. Like I said, he was a good man. I was sad to hear that he had passed and I never got to properly thank him for the kindness that he showed to my little family in the two years that we lived there.
So here it is now… Thank you, Mr. Wiggins. Thank you for the time and energy you invested into your house and into us. We enjoyed the many conversations that we had. The children still speak so fondly of our time at the farm house and Tim and I clearly recognize that living there helped us to save up the money to buy our townhouse. We are grateful to you for that. You were always encouraging and positive. Should I live to be 92, I pray I can be as active, contented, and genuine as you were! Until we meet again, Mr. Wiggins, good bye.