Cleaning has always been very therapeutic for me. I also have always felt only I know how to clean my house right and thoroughly- so in the last few years, I tried not to make you feel guilty for not cleaning that much. Plus, you did other things. Like working really hard outside the home, taking out the garbage and recycling, and giving me great, stress-relieving massages on my neck and head- far better than any I’d ever paid for.
You’d always offer to vacuum and then I’d say “I actually enjoy cleaning. So just let me do it. I like it.”
This morning, I felt a surge of motivation to clean our living room- to dust and vacuum really well. My friend Ann volunteered- as she was eager to try out my Electrolux vacuum, but after she did just a little bit, I found myself taking over. She, good friend that she is, wound up cleaning my bathroom- very, very well. That is a good friend.
So, I dusted every surface, and then got to the vacuuming. Something about the motion of the vacuum back and forth, and especially the sound of particles or food or dirt being sucked up in it- like sparks or static- so satisfying.
For a moment or two- I felt normal- like it was an ordinary day and I was cleaning as usual. But then it was not an ordinary day. Until now though, my home has felt like a crime scene to me- as I wanted to leave most things untouched- wanted to look for dark hairs, fingernails in your nail clipper (I found a few), any remnant of you.
But now, I didn’t skip anything but did the most thorough job ever- using different attachments to clean the furniture- taking off all of the couch pillows and getting every last crumb under there. Why should I do it halfway- there is Audrey to think of. She deserves my best. Her sheets were changed, her blanket washed, and her room carefully vacuumed. Everything is in order.