Her name was Maggie and she held everything together in such a way that when she died and her worn tendons separated from her weary bones, so too did the brick and mortar of her House fall apart in such spectacular fashion that it captured the heart of every newsreader within the tri-county area for an entire morning, which is saying a lot these days.
The people of the town thought for sure she was a witch, but more of the Glinda kind – the pink dress-wearing, cotton candy-haired do-gooder, the mascot of unaffiliated holiness, or of, say, a particular denomination of neighborhood humanism. For one thing, she never used a thread to sew fabric, nor wheat to make pies, nor nails to hang pictures on the wall. She herself was a binding agent, which is saying a lot these days. People of every creed and color and shape and size and state of mental acuity or lack thereof found themselves inexplicably dining with the mother of the mother church of hospitality. The people of the town were bound up by her, healed and loved. Children would purposely fall by her fence – lambs to a bloodless, deathless slaughter – scrape their knees to watch her wipe the blood and rejoin the broken pieces of skin. She could solve any ailment with love, itself a binder, which is saying a lot these days.