I am sitting in the lounge room of the Strong Woman, the dog sleeps by the door.Her head always facing my uncles room.he is old now but remains devoted to her remaining family.She walks slower these days & the energetic young pup she was is now a distant memory. I woke this morning to the Magpies singing & nothing more, my family work long obscure hours so their rest is precious. I made a cup of tea & took it outside & sat on the verandah facing the early morning sun. From were I sit I can see my husbands first home & a lump rises in my throat & my heart is heavy. The mind & memory can be strange bedfellows. I hear a noise & for the briefest moment I think it’s my aunt just walking around the side. It is fleeting & soon I see the dog standing beside me. The Geraniums are everywhere, once they were an after thought planted near the front gate & now they encircle the whole yard.My heart aches a little more. Up the road my son lays, 18 years of guilt I had dragging my heart down was lifted yesterday. It was the strangest feeling, it was like he was saying “It’s ok Mum you can breathe” I took him flowers 8 in total, a red rose & a red gerbera from each of us he left behind. In the cemetery it is still & the sound of cars are muffled by my tears. I miss my family my babies & my husband. My heart is healing. Around my Aunts house there are trivial items that trick me into forgetting she is really gone.Even after 11 years. There is a spoon that was dubbed her “work spoon” it is awkwardly bent it sits on the dish rack. I make myself another tea & again while the spoon is in my hand I can feel her. she is there in the back of my mind. She is always looking down, protecting, loving & just simply making sure we all carry on. The house has changed over the years yet it still feels the same.There’s a sense of security & calm I get just walking through the front gate, yet now I realise my home is far from here back on the coast. Were my husband & children await my return & my heart hurts so much more. It’s been a steep learning curve but a lesson well learned. I now know that my son will be ok & I am at peace with that, finally. I speak to my kids & husband the morning sun is warm & I realise that home really is were the heart is.