Now that we're in our new home, Gary and I go about checking things out in the empty house, opening doors and drawers. The main part of the house is dusty, filthy even. The seller took the carpet runners off the stairs; something was ripped from the front of the fireplace mantel, leaving it damaged.
While I rummage around the part of the house (the family room) that had previously been used as a rental space, Gary calls me, his voice urgent. Her points to a shelf in the laundry room cupboard, where, next to a box of Miracle Grow, there is a white cardboard box. He tells me to read the printed label on top, bearing the name of a local crematorium. I open it to look inside. There is an open plastic bag filled with ashes. Looking at the label again, I realize that the seller has left her mother's ashes behind. In a cheap cardboard box. On a shelf. In the laundry room. Next to a box of fertilizer.
I am in shock. This is creeping me out. My heart sinks. Did we make a mistake? The accumulation of every aggravation we've experienced with the purchase of this house (which I haven't written about) is too much to bear. Gary says we'll make it work and stick it out for a couple of years and see how we feel about it then.