Ann is resting, I think.
She moved her house, her husband, and the silver to a new apartment. She did not bring the clunky pieces of silver or the bust of John F. Kennedy’s head.
She moved 40 coffee cups and at least 20 china tea cups. I don’t know of anyone who drinks from those anymore since our appetites have grown and our manners have become brutish.
She moved her Rolodex, the kitchen towels, her pots and pans, and filled a new junk drawer with all that was in the old junk drawer.
She brought the big family picture taken in the 1970s, all those redheads in front of the brightly autumn trees.
She brought the books, so many books, but not as many as she left behind.
She brought the crucifix, the one where Jesus slides up, right off the cross, to reveal a secret compartment with a bottle for holy water.
She gave away the cross country skis, the slide projector, and all four couches.
We have the blue beveled glass tumblers and the baby grand. The wooden sign that reads Rose’s garden is here, too, holding up a plant laden with tomatoes. (Rose was Ann’s mom.)
At the old house, Ann left behind 9 miles of creek through the picture window. She left behind the geese and the ducks and the long, long yard. She also left behind the mice and the tree roots clogging the pipes. She left behind the furrow in her brow and the ache in her eye.
For many months she was like a ball of string. We all helped out where and when we could but ultimately it fell to her. She carried the weight and her knees hurt.
Once she said, “Mine is a first world problem.”
I said, “If it feels heavy, it is heavy.”
At the new apartment she doesn’t get to see the creek every morning. Instead, she gets to hear bells from the church up the street and walk barefoot on the carpet.
If she feels like it, she can walk downstairs and play Bridge or Bingo with her new friends. Even though their bodies tell them they’re in their 80s, I imagine they talk and laugh like they’re 30. But who of us ever really feels older than 30?
Now Ann is happy again. She’s like a ball of yellow yarn.
It’s good to be reminded that the hard parts of life do come to an end.