The derelict house at the end of the block is what I fear from a crippling stroke. The fire has long since been extinguished, the soot and the standing water cleared along with debris, yet the space stinks of rot. The foundation has been so weakened it is a danger for any to enter, it is useless beyond a mocking memory of what was once there. Is a house not lived in worth keeping? Is the effort to maintain it from deteriorating further not done in vain? Perhaps it is enough to sit with the house and remember all the good times that were had there. A fire in its place, warming a cuddling couple on a cold night, instead of wildly gutting it from within faster than anyone would have imagined possible. Yet each time I look the memory protects less against the painful sight of what lingers, of what burdens us all. Should my house burn like this house burned, let the flames alone until I am but ash and cinder. Let only my memories remain.