‘My nephew’s visit went well. He and his family had just moved and were still dealing with boxes and disorder of their own.’
‘Your house is now well within what anyone could have while digesting boxes of stuff.’
‘I want to have another go at the bedroom again and I have something to show you.’
We went up to her bedroom and she opened the door of the en-suite bathroom which as far as I knew had been the only untouched room. She had cleared it herself.’
‘I kept six of those little wine boxes we had been using for paper so I could divide the bathroom junk into manageable bits. Like you’ve told me, it’s not so daunting, just doing one box at a time. I’ve even taken a bath in the bath tub instead of a shower in the guest bathroom.’
The biggest surprise was to come. At the end of Stella’s bed were some of the boxes of videos we had made early on. Stella had brought a roll of black bags which she handed to me.
‘I want the tapes bagged up so I can throw them away.’
My jaw dropped. Only the other day Beverly had said to me, that at some point the diary would come to an end. She asked me when I thought that would be. I said when the old videos get thrown away. I told Stella. She laughed.
When I was ready to start taking the bags downstairs, I asked Stella if she wanted me to put them in the kitchen by the backdoor which is where we’ve put bags of rubbish in the past. There is no where outside to keep the rubbish between the times.
‘No, she said. I like the way the kitchen looks now. I don’t want a bunch of black bags cluttering it up. It matters to me now the rooms that I’m living in. I don’t mind that we’ve got a ‘box room’ because I’m not using that room on a daily basis. That’s why we are doing my bedroom. There are those boxes of videos in the box room and I do want to get rid of them, but I really want to have my bedroom back again.’
Following Stella’s instructions, I put the black bags went in the spare room until rubbish day along with the out-dated computer that had been sitting in the middle of the bedroom floor. Once all that stuff was out of the bedroom, Stella pulled out the hoover and started vacuuming the now exposed floor.
We had a very nice lunch to celebrate the success of the year and came back just to tidy up.
‘I’ve gone back and done the various quizzes on the website and I can actually measure how much progress there has been. As bad as it was, I was always clean and I always had clean clothes to wear. That was something to hang onto.’
Stella had fresh flowers in vases in both the sitting room and the kitchen. She had told me that once upon a time she used to have fresh flowers all the time. It made me smile that she now had them again.