For as long as I can remember now, my work place at home has been the end of the kitchen table rather than my desk in the upstairs study. Working with my computer at the table has had its advantages - I am either in the same or the next door room to Harry and Emily when they play.
The trouble is, my piles of paper have grown, my office paraphenalia has increased, and the fight for space with craft materials, pens, half assembled wooden models and homework has increasingly been going the children's way. This morning I decided that it was time to again venture into the study I shared with Jessica.
Over the last few years it has been filled with christmas decorations, unused furniture and pictures, boxes filled with Jessica's clothes and anything else that didn't have somewhere to go. All of this I transferred into the spare bedroom today and I can see the floor again. What I needed to do next was to sort through the piles and piles of paper (before I move the piles up from the kitchen) so I grabbed a roll of bin bags and set to.
Incredibly I managed to fill seven recycling bags and two bin liners before the children's bedtime. I can now see myself going back in there to work, although now it's evening I'm back at the kitchen table.
A great deal of what I have recycled is Jessica's carefully filed paperwork. I had to stop several times and think, 'do I really want to be throwing this out?' No is the honest answer, but it is finally time. The memories of her are not in files or desk drawers, so their contents must go, but the clothes will stay for the time being. After all, one day Emily may want to wear some of them, even if she does have to wait for the fashion to come full circle again.
There was just one hand written scrap of paper I found that I wanted to share. I had torn it off the bottom of a letter sent to me a few months after Jessica died, and pinned it onto the notice board:
"A man is truly blessed when he has angelic children, because what ever happens during the day; when he comes home at night he is in heaven."
It still evokes mixed emotions, but I like it nevertheless.