Four years ago, as I sought to gain independence, I moved out of my parents’ home. I was blessed to find an affordable little nook where I painted one of the walls golden yellow and unknowingly displayed way too much bird decor. The little nook became my home, my place of comfort, peace and solitude (despite the fact I was convinced my neighbor was trying to murder me). But what truly made it special, were the people upstairs. My landlords. My sister and brother-in-law that is. And of course the four adorable nieces they gifted me with.
Just yesterday, I moved out of the nook and couldn’t help but wonder how years from now we’ll retell the stories to their daughters about how Titi Tati use to live with them. And in the words of Sarah (the eldest, 4 years old), “We are a big family. We live upstairs and you live downstairs, but we are all one big family.” And recently as I packed to leave she said, “But why are you leaving?! Your house is beautiful, Tati! You have paintbrushes and color pencils and games. It’s so much fun here!”
Nonetheless, Tati has to go (I’m only 30 minutes away). It’s the end of an era! But what a precious memory to carry in my heart.
I cannot go without expressing my gratitude to the landlords, so here’s a letter to them.
Thank you for welcoming me into your home. Thank you because I never felt separated from the entirety of your home even though I lived downstairs. Then again, I did invite myself over quite often. Like all time (Invasion of privacy much?). Thank you for allowing me to witness the beauty of marriage. Thank you for displaying that through your love, respect, partnership, friendship and selflessness towards each other. Thank you because it was then that I realized that I had never seen love lived out between a husband and wife. Thank you for including me in your traditions with your little ones. Thank you for showing me the responsibility of a parent to raise their children to love and know God. Thank you for doing that with diligence and devotion. Thank you for all the crackers. So. many. crackers. Cheese. Turkey. Water bottles. Bread. Bread because I refused to buy my own so that the wheat won’t trigger my eczema, yet I’d run upstairs and grab yours. But only when an apocalypse would hit my fridge. Thank you for encouraging me in my faith. Thank you for your constant support and counsel.
Thank you for it all.
The best tenant you will ever have had.
Gratitude is medicine to the heart, and writing is my favorite way to express it. So in whatever way you choose, let someone know you are thankful for them. Let them know they inspire you. Let them know their kindness has not gone unnoticed. The blessing of that expression will go both ways.
With that being said, thank you for reading my posts!
With much gratitude,