The day she died I saw her everywhere. I visited her house.
There is a half-full tub of jelly sweets. She only made it halfway through them. She expected to be back to enjoy the rest. The book she’d been reading lies beside her bed. The bookmark will never move beyond that page.
There is a calendar on the fridge door. Her rounded handwriting marks the day of the surgery and a birthday reminder two weeks later. There is milk in the fridge. And cheese. And peas.
In the living area. Her chair well-worn by her body, as if waiting for her shape to settle into it again. I see her there. I hear her throaty giggling laugh. It’s how mine will sound one day.
The old black hi-fi, once so modern, is set to a talk radio station. The TV guide next to it. I worry she will not see her favourite programmes again. Six years later I watch the final season of a show we both liked. I feel sad she missed it. She had enjoyed it so much.
Her windbreaker is hanging on a hook in the corridor, next to the painted Greek plate. Her faded floral make-up bag is sitting on the counter. The foundation bottle still nearly full. Eye-shadow and mascara slightly spilling.
I notice her indoor plant is infested with ants. I move it outside and it dies two days later. I feel guilty. I wake in the middle of the night and see her in the mirror. I remember being annoyed she borrowed the cake beater. I remember her chocolate cake. I cry.