I’ve suspended this post for months now, trying to stave away the inevitable with failed attempts of absentmindedness. This is my final farewell to your home and I’m hesitant and overly nervous about finally concluding these series of letters because in doing so means my ultimate surrender. Discarding those visions of boundless joy in a place to finally call home. And though they have remained obsolete since the moment my brother permanently moved in, I am still quite conflicted over publishing this. The finality of a dream I once believed irrevocably in and cherished with all my soul. There is still an irrational part of me unwilling to relent such an integral connection to you, regardless if that tether is physically palpable.
And then there is the failure and the disappointment in this overall mission impossible. Knowing that I failed and disappointed you will forever weigh heavily on my soul.
I haven’t actually ventured into what now remains of your home all this year. At least, I don’t believe so. I have driven past once or twice out of pure necessity and both times felt my heart constrict with pain. It is the sight of what lays evidentially unfinished that grieves me. That harsh, pronounced red brick veneer pounces ferociously like a predator, its stark redness a bitter reminder of destroyed ambitions. Overall this house is now dubbed the unattractive lot in the street, the contrast between red and white painting the most repugnant of sights whilst simultaneously suggesting the disservice done to your memory.
And your garden? That vegetation you simply adored? Dead. Back then if we couldn’t locate you inside seated by that retro, orange table in your kitchen then you’d be outside tending to those roses you so loved and grew in abundance.To the untrained eye it appears untainted and orderly. But on closer inspection you’d dismally note that those roses no longer bloom with the fervor of yesteryear. And your lawn that was once the epitome of lush, grows sparingly and tired. The fauna surrounding its borders has not escaped cruel fate, becoming irregular with grounds teaming with decay rather than virility.
Though your home itself escaped my greedy grasp my memories remain faithful. Dependable visions that can never be misplaced. Recollections like the two of us searching for four-leaf clovers in your backyard. Me beyond excited with anticipation that I would finally uncover one, that I would defeat you in our quest! But I never could. You’d find them with enviable ease. Then you’d ever carefully pocket them, every single one found, and keep them securely tucked away between pages of unused books, preserving them with delicacy. I went hunting for them once, recalling this memory during a moment of desperation and in need of some lady luck. I found one safeguarded and snug within the pages of a novel and I unashamedly pocketed it hoping for boundless blessings. And you know what Maria? It did bring me luck. I kept it within the confines of my cell phone case, though after some time I unknowingly destroyed one of those precious leaves, instantly voiding it of its magic. I then stored its remains carefully within a drawer in my room. It is disheartening opening up that drawer and finding it crushed but I can not bear to desert it.
I also wish I could go back and search for another since I could use some luck these days.
And there’s those memories of that peach tree. During those brutal summer months we’d find you seated beneath its cooling shade atop a red plaid picnic rug. You’d be so at peace, despite the menacing glow from the shadows of its rippled leaves playfully dancing across your complexion. I loved that tree. It’s branches cascading downwards with the weight of ripe fruit forming a protective shelter and making it the most ideal place for solitude. I don’t know if its branches continue to swathe unruly as my father may have trimmed excess branches since you departed us. I’d be mournful if he did. To know that tree would never contort in that fashion is wistful. Even if it stands companionless, without a soul to cocoon with its freshness during those unforgivable Australian summer days.
My sidekick delighted in that garden of yours, particularly your lawns. She could hardly contain her joy whenever we pulled up into your driveway and make for that patch by the front entrance and mark her territory. Leaving you a not so nice gift, before racing up those tiled stairs to the front door, pawing away at the stain glass window impatiently awaiting you and the copious belly rubs that would no doubt ensue. And yes Maria, no one will ever compare to the way you rubbed her belly. Such dedication you gave to this job. I think she misses those the most.
There are also poor memories laced in silver linings. Like when I was six years old and being chastised for stealing two of your gold rings. After coping quite the beating from my parents we came back to your house were they forced an apology out of my naive and unknowing mouth, threatening me with more beatings if I refused to comply. I was teary, confused and terrified and you showed me compassion. You understood I was a harmlessly silly and overly curious kid. You sat with me and told me it was not nice to go through people’s bags without consent, then you told me to keep those rings. That I’d always have a piece of you with me forever.
And I will.
All in all I suspect your garden shan’t flourish as it once did. Nor thrive again like a tree in a rainforest. It’s strained, stressed and saddened by all that’s transpired. The lack of love and happiness means your roses will never bloom as they once did and that dull muteness to their hue will forever remain. The grass will never be as green as it was for life has been sucked dry. The entire property is void of character, void of emotion. Standing still without purpose, lost and in hibernation.
This is what I feared most about relinquishing your home to a complete stranger. That their unknowing presence would imbibe its light. It’s laughable how your home is now in the care of my brother and yet become brutally inert. Looking back this was a fruitless battle, destined for prolonged failure. Your home seemingly fated to end up cold and barren the minute you left this earth.
And I don’t really know where to go from here now. Or if I’ll ever get that chance to rectify those errors made. Breathe life into this space once again. I believe hope will continue dancing around unconsciously, awaiting moments to perform. I doubt I’ll ever truly be rid of him and I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not. And if I really need to move on or not? Though sadly I unwittingly have anyway. I no longer lose myself in daydreams of lounging by those French doors, laptop in hand and sidekick curled by my side. I find myself drawn to other properties now and in those visions your home sadly has lost its cameo role while I envision and contemplate a new life and future in homes so dissimilar to yours.