Friday, October 07, 2016
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.