I've always believed that a house was the reflection of the woman who lives there. I think that the way a home is decorated and kept says volumes about what is important to the woman who claims that space as hers. How she feels about herself and those she loves; what she finds beautiful; what matters to her--it is all there within those four walls. And it doesn't seem to matter who else shares that house with her...there will be glimpses of others but the heart of that house really will be the heart of that woman.
Never was this more clear to me than this week.
We helped our dear friend say goodbye to his wife yesterday. She died this week after a long illness. And we have tried, as best as we can, to help him and his family through this painful time. When I first was told that Christie was gone, I didn't really think about much beyond the grief that her husband and 8 year old son were feeling. It didn't really occur to me what I would miss about her.
Then I walked into her home.
Suddenly I was surrounded with memories of Christie. The detailed conversation about her paint treatment on one wall; the laughing and joking in her backyard eating area; her rambunctious dogs scaling the backs of her sofas while she rolled her eyes and explained they believed they were cats.
And it wasn't just memories; it was how the house just was her. Christie. Warm, stylish, centered on family. There was the wall; the one that she patiently added photograph after photograph to until it was filled from top to bottom with the smiling faces of family and friends. Her kitchen; organized and filled with every thing she needed to be hostess to her friends. Every nook and cranny filled with something interesting to look at.
In high school, whenever I saw Christie I felt compelled to watch her. I wanted to see what she was doing and what she was wearing...she had such charisma. And I found myself feeling that again, standing there in her home. I wanted to see it all and soak it all in and just enjoy what she had put together. So I did.
After being in Christie's home, knowing she would never return, I have had cause to evaluate my own home and the legacy that lives there. I hope that when I leave this life, that my home really will be filled with me. I hope that one day, people who didn't even spend much time with me could come to my home and understand who I was. Like I was able to do with Christie. I wasn't her close friend, but being in her home...I could feel her and know her in a powerful way.
And I am grateful for that. And so I go away with her example, and I will do as she did--live my life and keep my home with my very own touch.