Last June, when the kids and I were visiting family in Michigan, my aunt Betsy slipped me an envelope. Inside were jewelry, photos, and old recipes that had belonged to my grandma. Today, finally, I spread out the recipes and read through each one.
What I want to know is, how can my grandmother's handwriting, so loopy and familiar, be here while she is not? How is it that she isn't a phone call or plane ride away? That I'll never get another birthday card written in her arthritic, but still flamboyant, hand?
How can it be that she died one of those awful First World deaths through which she lingered and lingered in a hospital for half a year, unable, somehow to let go?
How can her life have been over for seven years now?