“Did you always live in here, grandma?,” Sophie asked. The tip of her tongue was beginning to poke out the side of her mouth as an assist to chubby fingers unwrapping chocolate kisses. Grandma closed her eyes. She saw a polished table, a vase filled with fresh flowers and a picture in a silver frame, a photograph, but the image is blurred.
“Yes, my angel, I love when you come and visit and we eat our candies.” Sophie reached up to wipe off the ring of chocolate outlining her grandmother’s mouth. “Mmmmmm. This chocolate is delicious.” Together they laughed.
In deep winter the nursing home’s temperature is tropical. They sat by the window and Sophie pulled up her grandmother’s hand to place her palm next to her kindergarten sized print already dripping. “Oooohhhh, that is so cold,” said grandma as she pulled her hand away, leaving a wet smear behind. Grandma shuddered and remembered another day, a day waiting in the cold, ending with cold tears on her face.
“No, Grandma, don’t cry. I’m sorry.” Sophie wrapped her chubby arms around her. The distraction of her dark curly head made her think of her own childhood puppy. “Now, there’s a good girl.” Grandma ran her fingers through the tangle and Sophie turned up her laughing face.
“I love you, Grandma,” Sophie said. The old woman could see herself in the child’s eyes, lost, yet loved.