On how improbably healing can begin
Compared to decades of perfect color photos of our suburban family abodes, all piled pillows and ornate round tables with little room for a glass (and coaster, thank you), this place shows like an old monochrome of rural life. It’s a manufactured home (not a trailer, thank you) that houses against all odds my mother’s massive china cabinet (now a living room bar) and pine hutch (for easy kitchen liquor access), but precious little else she would flag as suitable decor with Post-its in the stacks of Southern Living and French Country mags that I tenderly fingered page by page after she died in the 2-story house my father detested. It all went to GoodWill and auction just as this clean old 2-acre canvas hit the market, and my father has herein now officially survived the burn pile of primal rage that roiled under his good-man approach to 61 years of marriage. Now the shotgun and snake stick in the front corner, formerly forbidden kitty mistress, paper plates and plastic utensils mean stasis can beget change none of us offspring ever imagined, and grief and relief can co-exist like an old married couple way past the good times.