She came at summer’s end and needed a place to stay for a few days. She stayed for almost a year. And in my heart, forever.
She was quiet, mostly kept to herself, made sure to be helpful
with household chores and when she took her turn in the kitchen, it was often a memorable meal.
She was my mother’s aunt. She called her Tia Maria. All elder women are grandmothers. So we called her “Lola.” Lola Tia Maria.
We were told to be kind to her and to be specially quiet when she was quiet.
Sometimes, in the late afternoon when the sun begins to cast shadows that taller versions of ourselves call us to play from the ground, we could hear her sighing and singing a tune, and sometimes she would be dancing, as though waltzing with someone from the shadows, or somebody we could not see. Then she would…
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