Opened the door. Big smile from Stella.
Not only was the hallway still clear, she'd potted up two amaryllises to sit on the front hall table.
Stella led me to the kitchen window. There was more to see, she'd also potted up some flowers for the newly cleared garden.
Several times over the past three visits, Stella had said: "I can think of things to do, but I can't actually do them unless you are here." After we'd admired the potted plants, she said: "Guess what! You know how I said I couldn't do anything without you being here, even if I could plan? Well, I've sorted out the downstairs bathroom cupboard and put away the nail polish bottles that have been living on the sitting room side table."
"That's great! What do you want to do today?"
Stella showed me two large empty boxes, which were waiting for us in the front room where there were stacks of video tapes.
"These are the oldest tapes and I want to put them into the boxes. I'm not ready to throw them away, but I am ready to start putting them away. I took on-board what you said on the first visit about videos being an outdated technology. I am upgrading to DVDs and a better TV”
On that first visit, I had slightly moved a stack of videos and had provoked a cry of distress from Stella. I was very impressed by the journey she had made in so short a time. The boxes were MUCH too big and it took both of us to wrestle them up the stairs to the spare room. We laughed and vowed to never, ever again pack anything heavy in large boxes.
Besides clearing the piles on the floor, some bookshelves were freed from videos, so we moved some books from the stair treads onto the shelves. We also started working on a new room, pushing things around and doing some preliminary sorting. There was one last surprise: Stella and I had been meeting every two weeks. She had some upcoming commitments that would mean a three-week break between meetings. Rather than doing that, she wanted to book two appointments one week apart.
Just before I left, Stella said, "You haven't seen the bathroom cupboard yet"
We went and admired the row of nail polishes in the cupboard.
When I got home, I shared my diary with Beverly and we discussed whether Stella would be willing for us to publish it as a diary. We were both very impressed by her insights and her willingness to go at a slow steady pace.