Nothing says elder like grab bars installed in your shower and tub to keep one from slipping when soapy and dripping and hitting the floor with a thud. Nothing says senior like sneakers worn with any and all sorts of dress to keep one from wobbling ungracefully hobbling though safe, not designed to impress. Nothing says ancient like groaning every time one gets up or bends down and the need for a prop to help pull oneself up lest you’re stuck all day long on the ground. Nothing’s as lovely as living long enough for what’s listed above letting go of the strife and arranging your life with a focus on those whom you love.
She is sixteen when leukemia claims her a girl of nut-brown hair and letter sweaters the brightest star in the local firmament. She outshines her brother even in death. The church overflows onto Route 12 the April afternoon of her funeral. She leaves behind a mother, a brother, a father. Each evening the family sits at her graveside as if awaiting benediction. That summer her friends bring picnics to her grave. The red votive lamp on her headstone is always lit. It shines in easy view of the family’s kitchen window and glows warmly through blizzard, rain and star shine. Deer walk daily through the churchyard years sift down like snow. The son graduates, moves to Bradford. The father works and works and works. The mother sits by the glowing lamp. Deposit Photos Image 124351762_xl_2015.jpg