This was strange - I'm sitting on the couch reading, and I see a young man (older teenager) look into the window next to our front door. He dashes off, and I go to the window to see him riding away on his bike. A minute or two later, he returns, and rings the doorbell, so I answered the door. He said he used to live here, and just saw that the sign in the yard was gone - he had no idea someone had bought it, since it had been on the market for so long. I introduced myself and shook his hand, and he told me his name: Chris.
The funny thing is, I knew his name because of a card he saved (Valentine's Day, maybe?) that was hidden toward the back of the highest shelf in a bedroom closet. When I was wiping the shelves down (in what is now Lucy's nursery), I found this card... a rambling love letter written with the drama of an obsessed high-schooler. It must have been important to him, but also a secret, since he kept it so well-hidden that even HE forgot to take it with him when he moved out.
So he told me how he grew up here, and how he loves this house and neighborhood... and I felt a little weird because I know that some bad things have happened in his family... I believe it was his mother who passed away from cancer a few years ago, and obviously his family lost the house because it was in foreclosure. I guess I just wanted him to know that we're going to enjoy living here as much as he did, and we'll take good care of the house. I almost wish I had made him wait so I could retrieve the card (which we still have) and give it back to him... maybe he would have been embarrassed, since it's safe to assume we read it, but not giving it back is just as well... it'll probably never even cross his mind.
He seemed nice enough, and just probably wanted to meet whoever bought his house. I can understand that. So, now there is a face to go with the name... the boy who's childhood is left behind here with little clues - a romantic card, a Power Ranger, a ragged teddy bear, surf brand stickers on his door, and dusty old puzzle pieces.