She and her house helped me get through depression, the familiar surroundings, the photographs on the wall of her in her younger days, the pictures of the kids, family and friends. I always felt at home there.
The extensive collection of books that were in her house. As a kid, I’d stop there over some weekends and voraciously read through all the Dahl books, the Garfield ones, ignoring the classics. You can stick your Jane Eyre, your Oliver Twist.
She always had a welcome for everyone in her house. She’d make you feel as though it was your own home. It had been a family home, but she had lived there alone for years now. As a student, I’d pop by and stop for a few nights, a few glasses of wine, putting the world to rights in her living room. Every inch of the house was hers; holy pictures were a particular favourite.
The fall had been a shock. Four months in and out of hospital, then into a nursing home. I pondered her house, wondering if it missed her as much as I know she missed it.
The house no longer belongs to her, everything that made it hers have vanished. Possibly into storage, maybe into a skip. It looks so cold without her, unwelcoming. It could never be home without her there. She’s back in hospital and it’s questionable whether she’ll come out. But the house is now For Sale, definitely not hers anymore.