Sometimes, to cheer myself up, I think about Betty and Bunny.
This was their house.
They bought it in 1961, raised a happy family here, and Betty even rode her bike around the neighborhood until she passed away last year. She was almost 90. Her husband, Harold, a teacher, died in 2003. He went by Bunny — a fact that made me love him immediately. They were married for 53 years. He called her his bride.
We bought the house from their son, a contractor.
“I know I should tear this down and build something great and sell it for a fortune,” he told me. We were standing in the street, looking at the front yard.
“But I can’t tear down my memories,” he said.
I looked up a photo of Betty the other day. She reminded me so much of my Granna — such grace and kindness in her eyes. I told my Mom about Betty and Bunny, and she cried.
From Betty, I inherited this tiny glass hobnail vase. I found it in her medicine cabinet filled with Q-tips, and I am holding it as a treasure and a talisman.
In this house, a family was happy. In this house, a husband and wife were married for 53 years.
In this house, there was always love.
I want that, too.
I want to build upon their memories.
The other night, after my tired husband helped me pull out the carpet in the bedroom (Betty’s son’s idea), and mop the floors, he held me close and talked about his dreams for the house.
“I’m excited,” he said. “We can have a backyard with orange trees and grass and a hammock. We can ride our bikes. We can go on walks.”
Yes, I said, and I thought about Betty and Bunny.