Having done her familial duty my aunt was off to Europe, leaving me to my new position as property manager and cat care supervisor. A team of attorneys handle her affairs in her absence, and I report to them.
My duties include keeping the other two houses rented, the grounds clean and neat, and taking care of any necessary repairs. The attorneys set up a charge account at the local hardware store, gave me petty cash for minor expenditures and manage the bank account where I deposit collected rents.
Anything else comes up, I have to contact them.
My assets are twelve boxes of books and a wardrobe of sweats, sweaters, thick wool socks that I knitted as part of my recovery routine, and jeans.
I have my computer and a printer. There is also my Kindle, my chief form of entertainment.
After a year of being poked, stuck, prodded, rolled around, radiated, and told what to do, I have become accustomed to being alone. I’m used to it. I kind of like it.
Now no one wakes me at two a.m. to take my temperature, check my vitals, or give me a pill. If I wake at night the sounds I hear are the wind, the nearby surf or the cats playing in the dark.
Dave has a thing for floor hockey, played by taking anything he can lift into the kitchen and batting it around until it slides under the fridge and can no longer be retrieved.
Cleaning under there is a lot like Christmas, you never know what you’re going to get.
When I was at home during those months I didn’t wear a scarf, although I owned two dozen in varying colors. That’s a necessity when you’re a bald woman. Men get away with it just fine, women get stared at.
My hair is slowly growing back, in a different color. Before cancer I had auburn hair and now I’m a blond. I’ve been told this is a common occurrence. One survivor I know was bald at forty, had cancer at forty five, and by fifty had a full head of black curly hair. His wife loves it.
I still wear a scarf once in a while, although my hair has grown back to an inch or so in length. There’s a halo, a pure white circle of hair, right on the crown of my head. I resist suggestions to dye it, considering it a badge of merit. I earned it.