Saturday, July 26, 2008

Grandma's Chair

When Daddy died, Grandma moved in. Since she had a hunched back, she couldn’t sleep in a bed like normal people. Instead, she sat in our old easy chair in the corner, so that she wouldn’t be in the way. As Mom and everyone grieved, she sat. She sat through summer, when we had a blackout, and the air conditioning stopped working and it was 100 degrees in our apartment, and she sat through fall when we had company over for the first time since the funeral.

One day Grandma said, "I feel like this chair is swallowing me", as little by little she became smaller and smaller.

When I asked Mom, she explained, “it’s just her scoliosis; she used to be much taller, but that’s what happens. You just shrink. Plus, she doesn’t eat much.”

One day, when we were doing spring-cleaning, Mom handed me a broom and told me to go sweep the living room. When I got over to the corner where Grandma’s chair was, she wasn’t there.

“Where’s Grandma?” I asked. Mom came into the room, with her yellow gloves, carrying her bucket and sponge, and wiped a stray hair out of her face with the back of her wrist. “I don’t know,” she said, “she must have gone home or something.”

I sat down in Grandma’s chair. It was much cushier than I’d remembered it. I leaned on the handle of the broom and cried. She never even said goodbye.

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