Emptying the house

Letters tied with string, recipes in a box, pictures in frames.

A ceramic lamp, a goose neck rocker, a candy dish.

The night table with ringed water marks, the desk with the sun-bleached side, the sofa with the tear in the fabric, the worn flowered rug.

The corner cupboard her uncle made, the dining suite she refinished by hand, the treasured piece of jewelry, the cedar chest she called hope.

Her mother’s crackled mixing bowls, a golfing cup with Daddy’s name, toys we played with as children (as did our children and then their children).

One hundred-plus years, sorted, packed and distributed. Gone in a day.

Antiques to the dealer, mattresses for the dump, boxes for various charities, small treasures packed in cars .

Somewhere, someone will fill the candy dish, make rolls and set the table. Someone will pay a bill and place the receipt in the right hand slot in the desk.  Someone will set a glass of water on the nightstand and rock a baby in the rocking chair.

But it won’t be her.

Oh God, it won’t be her.

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