Friday, October 07, 2016

House Memories


It's mainly silence. But I believe a house holds both visual and aural memories forever. So now and again I hear the tinkling of a dog-collar as the tag briefly strikes the collar-hook it's on.

Or a rustling from where the dog bed was.

Or the slurping of water from one of the two bowls on each end of the house that I kept filled.

And then at night, I still say goodnight to her. The last couple of years the stairs were too much of a challenge for her. I still look to see her heartbroken face lifting up to watch me go up the Mount Everest of stairs and turn at the top to look down and catch the remnants of that enormous sigh of hers.

I still don't walk on the area of floor in my bedroom where her bed used to be for years.

Lying in bed at night I sometimes hear a deep groan which is creepy in the extreme. But this is a house memory forcing through the anguish of a previous resident who died of cancer here, far too young, many, many years ago, leaving her teenage children with an elderly father. It could be her enormous grief lingering on. Now mingled with mine.

I now close the three inside doors to the family room when I have the fire lit. To conserve the heat. I couldn't do that before as Ansa needed access everywhere. I look up from reading or knitting and see the faint outline of her sitting, back towards me, staring at one of the doors aa if there was a magic trick to opening it and she was patiently waiting for the technique to reveal itself.

I find my right hand still going to the backseat to have her kiss it even though it was a long time since she was able to ride in my car.

I still have the remains of her dog-food in a kitchen cupboard but gave away her cookies from the jar that was always stocked. Her car gear is in the garage. I find her water flask particularly poignant as after a good long hike I would pour some into her car-bowl and after she was finished drinking she would lick my hand in gratitude. I tear up even thinking about it.

I still can't finish a sandwich without tearing off a corner for her.

And leave the remains of my morning egg for her to enjoy.

Our little routines, so automatic when we lived together, now so deeply heartbreaking.

This house remembers.


And PS - more on my previous post soon. I am still processing but I am OK and the overwhelming support I received has eased my outraged shock remarkably.

21 comments:

  1. How I envy you all these memories and visions! but also understand the longing for more than that ... .

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    1. Mixed with a twinge of guilt Kate as I am so free to come and go as I please now which has got its own rewards.

      XO
      WWW

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    2. After our old girl died this summer, my mother-in-law said "So you're on the lookout for another dog" and I said nope, actually I'm looking forward to the day the house dog goes! I know how that sounded -- very hard and unfeeling -- especially because I love our little Ducky dearly! But I won't miss his hair on the furniture and in all the corners and down the hallway and in clumps behind the doors. No more house dogs for me after he goes.

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    3. So true Kate. There's the gift of a new freedom. Ansa's fur was everywhere. I don't think I'll ever get it out of my car!
      I've had a long life of dogs and this dogless state has enormous appeal.
      XO
      WWW

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  2. I understand
    and if I ever lose my Callie
    it will be the same way.
    Sending special thoughts your way..

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    1. I'm with you and your lovely Callie, Ernestine, enjoy the days more intensely with her. They fly so quickly.

      XO
      WWW

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  3. Yes...it's been more than 2 years, and I still miss our last cat, Reno, who would wait like a vulture for the last bits of my cereal milk or ice cream. So I still sometimes miss him when I have those things. Well...you do have your fond memories.

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    1. Thanks Carolyn, it's odd what we miss indeed. A wrench to the heart strings when least expected.

      XO
      WWW

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  4. You've been on my mind. I'm glad to hear you are physically okay though the world around you is certainly in upheaval. Sending all good thoughts ~

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  5. Its the worst thing with animals ..... losing them eventually.
    People too!
    I spend a lot of time thinking of them all.
    Maggie x

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    1. Yes, particularly alone one tends to think of these losses more poignantly. No distractions, I guess.

      XO
      WWW

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  6. Sadly, your sojourn on the farm merely postponed your grieving process. Coming home, you must now face the reality. Take time and try not to stifle the grieving. It will pass. You will never forget Ansa, but you will come to terms, in time. Remember, you're not alone.

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    1. Yes, some days are better than others, RJA and then I'm surprised when the loss strikes out the blue.

      XO
      WWW

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  7. I can relate and while the missing never really goes away, one gets used to it eventually.

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    1. Permanently etched in my heart that wee lassie is.

      XO
      WWW

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  8. I can appreciate your sense of loss. Memories can be easily triggered, especially when we live alone and are often left with our uninterrupted thoughts -- our imagination can run free.

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  9. This is really such a lovely summary of all the "little" things we miss when our loves pass on. (And it was so lovely I actually had to go back and read it again.) Even though I have a houseful of pets, and wouldn't have it any other way, I never forget those moments I shared with my earlier loves.

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  11. So very sad. You were obviously so attached to each other.

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