On November 5th 2012, my wife gave birth to our first child. During the pregnancy I decided that I would write about the experience. Every week since I have documented all of the events that took place throughout this time, along with my thoughts on them. Now that I can confirm that our baby is happy and healthy, I will share those thoughts with you.
Week 18 – Turning 30, The Second Biggest Thing to Happen on My Birthday
I normally would not have written anything about this here, but given the circumstances it seemed a necessary addition.
My Uncle Ray (great uncle actually, my grandmother’s brother) is among the nicest men I’ve ever known. I’ve literally never heard him say a bad thing about anyone. He and his wife Mary never had any children, so they treated their nephews like their children, and consequently me and my cousins like their grandchildren. At 85, a widower for less than a year, Uncle Ray’s body started to break down on him. His mind however couldn’t be sharper. Picking him up this past Christmas Eve, he asked me which car was mine. “The black one,” I said. For clarification he asked, “The one with the dent on the door?”
“What dent!?” This car was fairly new and I immediately start checking for what he saw. Then almost immediately after I started looking around, I hear Uncle Ray snickering behind me. He got me again. He proceeded to have me turn off my gps, and direct me turn-for-turn to my Uncle’s house. He still remembered every street name.
Uncle Ray passed away on June 9th. He said he was going to take a nap. He went to sleep, and that was it. I was told if you didn’t know any better you’d think he was just sleeping. It was about as peaceful of a death as you can hope for. It was his time. Now he is with Mary again.
I found out about what happened late that night. I was supposed to have dinner with my dad the next night for my birthday. My 30th birthday. Kind of a big deal. Given the circumstances I was not expecting the still be celebrating anything. I’ve had 29th birthday’s before this one. I can certainly wait. Dad insisted that we still go out to dinner. He had something that he needed to tell me. My mind wandered immediately. What could be so important?
So my dad, Jessica and I had dinner together for my birthday. I let him pick the place. Really nice restaurant. Before we even look at the menu we start talking about Ray. Everything that happened, funeral arrangements, how everyone is handling it. He then starts talking about all of the memories he had with Ray, and the rest of his family, at Ray’s house. He had owned that house since 1959. No one else had ever lived in it. That transitions into mentioning that things sometimes happen for a reason, and that it’s not everyday that you can change someone’s life.
I’ve just been told my dad would like Jess and I to take the house.
I’m speechless. On the verge of tears. Jess wasn’t too far behind. Since Ray had no children, his entire estate is left to my dad his brother. They have no need for the house, and instead of going through all of the trouble to sell it, they would prefer to keep it in the family. My uncle brought it up first but it was already on my dad’s mind. Who better to take it than me and Jess.
With taxes and fees and everything else the house is hardly free, but at worst we’re looking at getting a house for half the cost. Certainly we can afford that much. A three bedroom, one and a half bathroom, split level on a third of an acre of flat land with lower property taxes than most of the areas we had been looking into, and just about an hour commute to Manhattan. All this not even two months we had decided to put off the house hunt until next year. If all goes well we can move in as early as September. Maybe everything does happen for a reason.
In an instant we went from figuring out where to fit a child in our cramped barely two bedroom apartment, to having a house in a good location with plenty of room for a child (or maybe even two), a big yard to play in, and all the space and peace and quiet we could ask for. An absolutely ideal starter home.
Then I turned 30. Big whoop.