A friend asked me to help her pick up some discarded furniture from a house she had just sold for the woman who owned it, her name was Eva. As so many of ours will be the last part of Eva’s life was fraught. She couldn’t keep up with the maintenance on her home so it was falling apart. Her pension wasn’t enough and she often went to the nearby homeless shelter for food. It was there that she met a man who would eventually convince her to let him move in. His lifelong substance abuse had made him mean and he wasn’t very nice to Eva. She wanted out of her house and her nephew came to rescue helping facilitate her move. After a few false starts she was placed in a long-term care facility that was small enough for her to feel comfortable in. Soon after her arrival she wasn’t feeling very well and they took her to the hospital where it was determined that she needed surgery. After some complications during surgery Eva died on the operating table of a heart attack. She was 87.
When I entered her house I was saddened immediately because the condition of it was very bad with holes in the roof and some walls. As we walked around I found a few objects that had been hers that I hated to see go in the trash so I took them with me. A couple of paint by number paintings, a handheld mirror, a string of pearls, some tea towels, a golden handbag, a watch, a slide ruler, a porcelain spoon, a playbill from a production of St Joan, some old photos, an old slide projector and a few slides. I didn’t know when I was taking these things that they would be, but now they have been re-purposed as part of this project where we are trying to imagine moments from a possible life based on the briefest of associations through these objects.