There’s a house in my neighborhood. It stands tall but sad beside the road. It’s known as the “murder house” in my small town.
A great tragedy happened there on a cold day during the onset of winter. I can see the house when I get in my car each morning to drive to work. I pass it as I head down the street. The house brings overwhelming sadness. I can feel the lost lives that once made the house a home. I feel the pain vibrating from the darkened windows and overgrown hedge.
The house was once a family home with love and laughter. It once held happiness. It now holds ghosts. The haunting in its walls is filled with the blood and horror from a day that it will always remember.
Many towns have a house such as this. The house whispered about and used to scare small children. Youngsters walk by on a dare or run up and ring the unused doorbell, boldly breaking the hollow silence within. There is broken glass for windows where rocks shattered the source of light that once shined on the inhabitants with life and hope.
The lives within the house were shattered years ago. Some claim by evil, others say we will never know why.
My eyes are drawn to the empty windows and darkened interior. It cries for help but I know I can never take away the history imprisoned in the soul of that structure. I can never give back the lives ripped from its moorings. I can dream of happier times. I cast those dreams towards the remaining edifice. My dreams will never bring back its former inhabitants. My dreams will never take the sickness from the ground the house stands on.
The blood was removed as were the bodies of my neighbors. There are no longer television cameras pointed at the windows hoping for grief to peek through the shutters. It was a news story. They didn’t know the family inside. They only knew the horror of it made for good ratings. I don’t blame them for their seemingly heartless invasion. But I wish they could have known the living, breathing family and their lives.
As I grow older, the house grows older. It sags in places resembling my own mirror passages. I do envy those younger happier times, but only for the house. My own life continues to be filled with happiness and joy that only grandchildren and puppies can bring.
My wish for this tragic house; may your walls hear laughter, may your floors feel joy. May your backyard ring with the sounds of children playing on a swing set and running through a summer sprinkler. May someone see beyond the tragedy and give you a chance to be redeemed in the eyes of our small town. May a rock never again pass through your window, only baseballs be the source of their shattering. May blessings fall upon your nooks and crannies and fill them with new memories. May pictures grace your freshly painted walls and bring color to your faded glory.
But most of all, I wish that while the tragedy that happened inside fades from memory, the family of heartbreak is never forgotten and will be honored for the love they once shared within the house.