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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jimmy and Mrs. Oxford (Part 5)

Over the next few weeks of Mrs. Oxford's stay at the hotel she and Jimmy looked at many photos of the house and she shared many details about her life with Mr. Oxford and the time they spent in the house. He peppered her with questions about the house details and she answered them as best as she could.

Her last week at the hotel she asked Jimmy if he would take her to see the house. Jimmy called for a car and they drove to the house. Jimmy helped her out of the car and she felt the sun's warmth beam on her face just as when William first brought her home. It was a little overwhelming for her but she stood there and felt the rush of good memories. Jimmy had done the house justice; it was just as she remembered, even the exterior color was similar.

He walked her up the steps of the house and she looked at the carving of the dove on the door frame and ran her fingers over it lightly. To her it was like touching her William's cheek before he shaved in the morning; she giggled. Jimmy gave her a tour of the house and showed her his "projects."

After the tour Jimmy rode back to the hotel with Mrs. Oxford. She sat next to him and looked forward with a smile while all the way holding his hand. When they got back to the hotel Mrs. Oxford thanked Jimmy for the tour and went to her room.

On Friday the car was called and Mrs. Oxford was on her way home. She left a note for Jimmy. He had not gotten to work before she left. When he got to work the front desk clerk, Bella, handed him the note.

"Dear Jimmy,

My annual visit has come to an end. This one was the best one ever. I am so happy to know that you are now the new owner of our first home. You truly have affection for the home. Thank you for taking me on the tour and helping me recapture my good memories. I now have what I need and I would like to leave you these photos and the original drawings by my William of the house. I have left these things for you in my room. Please treasure them. I hope the pictures and drawings help you with your attempts to restore the house to its original condition.

Thank you again, it was lovely and I will always remember you.

With fondness,

Jimmy took the stairs up to the tenth floor and opened the door of room 1015. He walked inside and immediately noticed a large box. Inside the box was a smaller box filled with photos and there were the drawings of the house. He was honored. In the box was a large object wrapped in newspaper. He took the newspaper off the top and noticed the little roof peak. He pulled the object out of the box and removed the rest of the newspaper. It was the model of the house. There was a little note taped to the roof in Mrs. Oxford's handwriting, it said "open". Jimmy opened the hidden hinged roof and read the inscription and there inside were the original keys to the house.

The following week a letter arrived, certified mail to Jimmy.

"Dear Mr. James Hartford,

We regret to inform you that Mrs. Vivian Lee Oxford passed away on Tuesday. She left us with instructions to contact you upon her death. There will be a reading of her will and last testimony on Monday the 5th. We ask that you call and confirm your attendance.

Harvey Bleinhiem, Esq.

At the reading of Mrs. Oxford's will she left Jimmy a generous amount of money and requested that he keep her husbands' memory and work alive by working with the town historian and offering tours of their first home.

Jimmy pulled out the old note of folded paper Mrs. Oxford gave him the day he really got to know her and opened it up. "Thank you for sharing my memories ~ Viv"

He smiled and put it back in his pocket.

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