The moment Grace unlocked the front door, the house seemed to breathe again after months of emptiness. There was a mournful way the door squeaked open, already aware that Ginny was never to return.
Grace paused at the threshold, as if waiting for an invitation. It had been nearly twenty years since she last walked inside this house. That afternoon had been full of actual sadness, so much so the rains didn't let up for days and the streets flooded. Her sister's wake wasn't enough to dampen the rage and anger of her mother's neglect over Sally's death.
Grace looked over her shoulder and noted the calm autumn morning. Ginny wasn't worth mourning, she wanted to say to the empty house.
Because there was no one else in her mother's life, it fell to her eldest daughter to clean out the house. Peter and Matilda would be by later to help, but it was up to Grace to go through the items and decide what needed to be kept (by whom?), what they could donate, and what needed to be thrown out.
She entered the lounge room, aware of the memories of when she was last here as a young girl. The furniture was the same, that plush brown fabric from the seventies, a little worn where Ginny sat, but the large television was modern. There once was a square box of the thing that required someone to get up to change the channel. It had bunny ears that Grace would always alter on Saturday mornings after having watched the cartoons and before Geoff would sit to watch the football.
It was always the opening skirmish of their weekend, a timid affair before the drinking really kicked in.
Grace looked around at the enormity of dismantling her mother's life. There would not be enough boxes in the world that could pack away the damage one woman allowed.