The tiny ghosts that live among us

My grandmother, Virginia, died in the fall of 2007. Other than the Vermont Country Store still mailing us catalogs with her name in the address field, nothing that happens today involves her. Her bank accounts are closed. Her apartment has been sold a few times over. Her belongings are scattered; my mother gave her computer to the housekeeper’s studious young daughter and her furniture to the apartment renovators. I have a few of her books and some pieces of jewelry that she gave me. Her painting of sunflowers, which hung in my bedroom until I left my parents’ house, is in their attic. All of her relationships were difficult and ours was no different. Her Bose clock radio sits on my dad’s nightstand but seems seldom used. I’m staying at my parents’ home while they travel, and today I turned it on for entertainment while I cleaned and did crafts. All of the station preset buttons lead to static here in Indianapolis. It dawned on me that my grandmother must have set them, standing in front of her white dresser in her New York bedroom. And no one has changed them. Perhaps no one has noticed until now. I don’t want to reset them.

(Written August 30, 2015)

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