The wind whips through the quilts and sheets on our clothesline, cracking now and then like a benign thunderclap, tugging at the clothespins I inherited from my grandmother’s childhood farm. My daughter and I watch them as we swing together on the playset her father built a few seasons ago, before she was born.
This spring morning my father calls to tell me that his mother, my grandmother, who passed down those clothespins, has fallen asleep.
“Do you mean she died?” I say, knowing the answer but wanting him to say it clearly.
We don’t say much after that. It’s not as if this was unexpected. She is ninety-three and has been dying slowly since her kidneys failed months ago. But there is a finality to it, my last grandparent, the last connection to another generation, as if slowly, my family, my history, my memories are being whittled down from top to bottom.
This is how it should be, I know. But it hits me in a way I’m not expecting. [Read more…]