From the book
Thomas came with another letter this morning. He is such a pleasant man, so fine in his manners. He met Betsy folding the washing and we all had coffee together. Well, Betsy actually had her tea. Carefully prepared by first pouring milk in her very personal mug, with the dog rose hip decoration, then adding the hot tea. She proudly tells me how she makes jam of rose hips with nearly every teacup we share. “It’s very healthy, you know, full of vitamin C,” she affirms.
She comes at least twice a week to take care of my house. Betsy is one of Liz’s youngest nieces. She is most meticulous. Everything should stay as it is, all the time. Done in the same sequence, with a proper routine. In the beginning she was quite upset when I had put a vase on a different table or put it away altogether. She could not bear seeing it out of place. Or her biscuit for that matter that should be put to the right of the cup for her to take it with her right hand.
Routine, same thing at the same time in the same place, in the same sequence, that is the whole point why Liz thought that Betsy might be of help. I need to get some structure in my old days to find my things back again but cannot be bothered to do it just for myself. Having the responsibility or the feeling that I need to justify myself towards Betsy, somehow helps me to get more disciplined. Liz knows me so well. I wonder how she does it. Yet one thing I cannot help Betsy with, is the endless flow of dust settling down on the furniture.
One day I found her handkerchief in fist sitting at the small mahogany table in my bedroom, sobbing as if the world was about to collapse.
“What's wrong?” I asked her.