Scene 1: As I write I am sitting in my mother’s chair at the beautiful mahogany dining room table my parents bought more than 50 years ago. It is more than a little eerie to be sitting here. It’s even more eerie to walk around this house. Yes, it used to be a home but now it’s just a house. Every room has bits and pieces of furniture. Almost every room has evidence of what used to be by the deep indentions in the rugs. Only one room is as it was – one bedroom – but even there is a certain loneliness.
Scene 2: This morning I got up and went to the kitchen but my mother wasn’t there with coffee made, breakfast cooked, sitting with my dad at the breakfast room table. If they were here they would have both been reading their Bibles and maybe talking quietly – just the two of them in their bathrobes. When she heard me slide back the pocket door into the kitchen Mother would have turned and said, “O, hiello Merry Sunshine, how did you sleep?” or her favorite greeting, “Darling, how did you sleep?”
There is coffee today only because I brought it all the way from Pittsburgh AND there is no one else here but me and the spiders. There’s a box that almost got packed and then was abandoned to sit on a chair. I opened a drawer looking for a pencil and found a folded list in my dad’s neat handwriting. It was a list of credit card numbers and expiration dates. The most recent date for expiration was March 2007 for my mother’s driver’s license. Interesting as she was still driving while living in this house for at least three years after that year’s end – scary as that was!
Scene 4: Yesterday as I closed and locked the front door, I noticed a little plaque beside the front door, “Love makes a house a home!” O, I thought, that’s why this is just a house. There are no people here to share love in this lonely house on top of a mountain in beautiful western North Carolina. Even the flowers and ferns have a lonely look! Life has moved on to other places and spaces where the same people who lived and loved here live and love and are cared for in another home filled with love.
We live in a broken world where minds and bodies break with age and disease. So - for now - spiders spin their lonely webs on this mountain top.
Hopefully someday soon another family will come to settle in the four walls of this house to live and love once again … the voices of children will ring among the trees and on the "sheep rock" ….. Someday soon love will come to the lonely mountaintop again and, once more, the house will be a home!