Rick and I only lived in this home for one year. In that year we settled in and found our niches; Rick had an office and I used a guestroom for mine. I could see a fountain from my window and enjoyed watching the comings and goings in my neighborhood from this front room. Rick’s office looks out into the open space of the home and his window offers no special scenery.
Two offices are no longer needed. Two sinks in the master bath are not necessary. Two of each type of bicycle in the garage is two too many. Two bar stools at the kitchen counter are not used at the same time. Two of anything is no longer necessary. I am just one here.
For a while I moved between the two offices. My computer, printer and modem were in the front room, along with my files. Financial documents were in Rick’s office. Consolidation was obviously needed, but I did not have the emotional or physical energy for so long. First my computer and printer moved to his office; months later the cable company added outlets and the modem followed. I bought pretty colored folders and files and reorganized Rick’s desk and credenza to my liking. I kept his desk accessories, decorated with alligators — appropriate for his beloved alma mater the University of Florida. Some of his books remain in the bookshelves; I added a few of my favorites and of course photos of him. His diplomas came off the walls, replaced by mine.
So the office is done. I don’t like the room. Rick should be sitting at this desk, smiling at me as I pass by.
My former office has been redone for its original purpose. The desk is gone. The daybed has been replaced with twin beds. Just today thrift store volunteers hauled away the end table I used for my printer as there is now a proper nightstand between the beds. Photos from my recent trip to Cuba are mounted on the walls.
So the guestroom is done. It feels barren. I should be sitting there, peering through the plantation shades at the world.
My house is not a shrine to Rick, but my memories of him and our life together fill every room.