This is a very minor event that occurred last week, but I need to give the (slightly long) backstory so that you can understand my reaction to the event that occurred with my almost 1 ½ year old daughter.
I purchased my very first home on October 16th of 2015. I fell in love with my house the first time I saw the photos of it online and was instantly drawn to it. The price was way under budget and it was exactly what my little family needed as it was newly remodeled. I didn't want to purchase a fixer upper because I just had my first child in January of 2015 and we just didn't have the time or the ability to have to be putting together a house while taking care of an infant. We couldn't be tearing up the floors which are her stomping grounds or painting with hazardous fumes etc. But as I said, none of that was necessary; I found my dream house!
Upon the initial walk through there were no issues, I didn't "feel" anything. Mind you, I haven't been very sensitive I would say for the last 2-3 years though most of my teenage years into my early twenties I was. I could sense when there was something just beyond the eyes reach and sometimes I even saw things. Well, thankfully nothing was off for me. I put in an offer at asking price and a couple weeks later we closed on the house.
The west side of Jacksonville is considered to be a "bad part" of Jacksonville but honestly all of Jacksonville has its bad parts. My side of the road I live on is pretty normal middle class folks. About 2 miles down my road on the other end not so good. But, the kinds of criminal activity we have are generally isolated situations. If someone is shot, it's usually drug or gang related. If someone is assaulted it's usually domestic violence and they knew their assailant personally. What I am getting at is, if you are involved in illegal activities you will be more likely to be a victim of crime in a not so good part of town. If you mind your business and you're just a family living, generally you don't have an issue. There are always robberies and crazy folks and one offs here and there of course. Innocent people are not "safe" just because they mind their own business, I am just saying that the more into "those kinds of things" that you are, the more likely it is that you will find yourself in some trouble.
We have a friend that is a JSO (Jacksonville Sheriff's office) 911 dispatcher and we had him review the calls for the last 6 months in our zone and he was able to tell us that there was nothing serious or recurring issues that we should be concerned with; home burglaries, car-jacking etc. We felt comfortable with our decision.
Shortly after moving in though we learned of a suicide by cop incident on our street... At.my.house. One of the neighbors came to the front of the house where my husband was outside checking the mail or something. He asked if we were kin to "Mike." He of course said no, we purchased the home from the previous family but we were of no relation. He went on to explain that Mike perished right here in our front yard under the beautiful old shady tree we loved so much. He said that he was a very nice man whose only flaw was his love of beer.
I purchased the house from a woman in her mid-thirties who was living there with her husband and 4 kids taking care of her cancer ridden mother. The place was much too small for them, but she moved in with her mom after her "father died last year" to help take care of her... I didn't ask her, hey how did your dad die? Did he die here? Like, it didn't even dawn on me A, to ask how or B, to ask if it was here. Just common courtesy you know? But I was thinking, more along the lines of natural causes, not right outside the front door!
Well I was wrong. We always joked the first week that the only thing our house was missing was a white picket fence. Well, turns out we had one before the SWAT team broke it down the year before. Apparently, according to news stories online, Mike called the police told them he had a gun and he was going to hurt himself and others. He said, "Send the SWAT team, I want to get killed." When the cops pulled up, he went inside and came out with a gun. He pointed it at the cops and they shot and killed him on the spot.
"Did I buy a haunted house?!" First thing that crossed my mind... But I hadn't and still have yet to "feel" anything IN the house. So, I am under the impression that though it was sudden, the man was ready to go. We came to realize that the NASCAR posters and bikini woman poster, and the crushed beer cans in the walls of the shed in the backyard must have been his things. Probably why the daughter didn't take those things down and kind of just left them. I can tell that it was his "Man Cave." If anything, I get creepy vibes from the shed. Going in there at night, peering in to it will make my skin prickle, and it feels like someone is in there looking at me. It's not evil feeling, but there is definitely a presence in there of some kind and it's very strong.
Strong to the point that my aunt came over the beginning of May, and that woman has more experiences than I have ever had and much creepier, and she said, "Come here!" We were sitting in the backyard and the sun went down. She was calling me to the back corner of my yard where the shed is. She said, "Stand right here." As I did, I felt a coolness wrap around my legs and work itself up my body. I didn't say anything I just looked at her. She said, "You feel that? You feel the cold? I have goosebumps." She said, "It's coming from there," pointing at the shed that we were standing about 10 feet from. She said, "He's not bad, but he's there... And that's okay." At which point, I told her about Mike. Ugh... So I'm not the only one that feels the vibes from the shed. This was my first confirmation of him, but this is about my baby girl.
End of last week, I was deep cleaning my car. She needed it bad! My husband was trying to cook dinner though and so I took the baby out with me. It was early evening, about 6:30 ish. The sun was still out, with daylight savings it's really not pitch black out until about 9 pm these days; I love it! I rolled all the windows down in the car and opened all the doors. I have a Dodge Caliber which sits pretty low to the ground. I sat Punky (her nickname) in the passenger seat and began sweeping out the car while she entertained herself with a random shoe of hers and the AUX cord that she found. She was happy to be out in the car where she could observe outside as we never did this before. (HENCE THE STATE OF MY CAR.)
Well, my car was pulled up practically to the front door facing it, top of my driveway. To the right of the car, if you're facing the house sitting in the passenger seat, is grass and the big shady tree and the other half of my front yard. Half is the paved driveway, half is grass and the big old tree. My neighbor in the house on the other side of the grass wasn't out this evening. I'm used to seeing him and his children out playing basketball but apparently they were in for the night. The street had a beautiful breeze but there were not many people out at all except across the street, parallel to us behind my car, there were two men sitting in lawn chairs. Punky can't see them.
Now, Punky is the friendliest little girl you will ever meet. She IS a bully to her 12 year old stepbrother, but she's truly a sweet girl. I love her to pieces. But man oh man did she freak me out. She looks out the door to the tree directly in her sight and I hear her say "Hi!" and she starts waving! This is one of the few words she knows besides Tank too (thank you) Mama, Dada, Day Cee (JC her brother), Cheche (Leche is Milk in Spanish), and OMMMM (how she let's us know she is hungry) just to name a few. She ALWAYS waves and says hi to people when we are out and about and if they wave back she loves it and starts laughing and gets more into it. If they don't wave back she just kind of stays there with her little hand up and I immediately say, "Hi Punky!" because I feel so bad they leave her hanging.
Well, she says, "Hi!" again and looks back at me smiling and excited. I am sitting in the driver's seat wiping my door down, and she's laughing and smiling at me because she obviously made a new friend. I look out her door to see who she's waving at, expecting to see my neighbor's kids and there is no one there... It slowly dawns on me, she's waving at the tree. And apparently it's waving back based on her reaction... I am not sure if she saw Mr. Mike there waving at her... But I know my daughter generally doesn't wave at inanimate objects. There was no one outside in her line of vision and she was staring very intently at the tree.
I think she may have seen him. Needless to say, she freaked mama out a little bit. I was originally going to post the story, but in the Google search bar I just typed in his first and last name and my street name and there was a link with my entire home address and that may not be the wisest information to give out, my apologies! Thanks for reading.