The Story Of Anne Doyle's House
Today I have a little story to share. A story that to me is remarkable, one that I won't forget as long as I live.
10 years ago I lived with Joanne in Blanchardstown, west Dublin. It was a rough kinda shop and we had a desire to find a better place to live.
I went searching and after about a month found this place online.
The house kind of looked ok, nothing special. But it was the right price so I decided to book a visit with the auctioneer.
It was evening time when I viewed the house, just coming into summer. The quiet road was lined with mature birch and the sun was setting behind the houses to the front.
I felt there was something special here.
I walked in the door of what was a vacant, very run down 3 bed house and knew instantly that this place was for us.
The auctioneer was a older guy, no hard sell, no typical sales bull, he just showed the house and answered my questions.
There was something special about him too, he had this aura of calm and steadiness and he made an impression on me for some reason.
Everything just seem right that evening. I felt really good about this place as I drove away and I decided the next day to make a bid.
Joanne didn’t have time to view the house with me but she trusted me.
There was a bit of toing and froing on the price over the next couple weeks and then the auctioneer said;
Ok, here’s the truth. The family want to move this house fast and there’s nobody else bidding, so if you are willing to go 5k more they are willing to sell to you.
I increased my offer by 5k and we closed the sale.
Now for the interesting bit…
Now there’s nothing remarkable in this per se, other than it was 2006 and the housing boom was at it height here in Ireland.
People were queueing around the block for houses at that time. This one is 15 mins from the city to boot, so I found it very strange that we were the only ones in the picture.
Anyway, I spent a ton of money renovating it and within a couple months we moved in. It’s such a great place to live and we now have 3 children sharing it with us.
For months mail would come through the letterbox for Anne Doyle. We noted to each other that must have been the lady who used to live here and wondered what she was like.
On one ordinary afternoon my wife was talking with the next door neighbour about Anne Doyle and her husband Jack. Jack had died and Anne lived there on her own for a number of years.
She became ill then and had to move move to a nursing home because she couldn't care for herself very well.
From the nursing home her deteriorating health took her to the local Connolly hospital, Redwood ward where she later died. The house went up for sale shortly after that.
Redwood specialised in caring for older patients, most of whom were on their way out. My wife is a nurse, In Connolly Hospital, Redwood ward.
The penny dropped. Suddenly she remembered her. All that time we watched Anne Doyle’s mail come through the door it never clicked. It all came back to Joanne in a flash.
She remembered tending to Anne, talking with her, brushing her hair. She remembered how much Anne appeared to love that.
I got goose bumps all over.
I realised the enormity and complexity of events that needed to conspire to make that purchase happen and I was blown away. And I still am.
So, What’s The Big Deal?
Well, I refer back to events like this one that prove to me that the greatest things, the most memorable things, happen as a result of forces outside our conscious control.
Sometimes at night when it’s quiet (like right now) I get shivers all over my body (phew, big rush there). It’s like Anne is still here, watching over us.
Something else was at work. Providence moved to make things happen.
Some might say luck, or coincidence was at play.
However, if you knew what I know you'd know that there is no such thing as coincidence. Luck is the ignorant man's explanation for that which he doesn't understand.
Sometimes (all the time?) it’s better to go Wu Wei on it.