Ben made us breakfast this morning. Crescent rolls, yogurt.
Where does… did Grandma keep the cookie sheets? He asked.
Look for a long skinny cabinet. If they aren’t in there, she didn’t have any.
They all stood around in anticipation of the pop the rolls make when the can is twisted.
It’s not going to shoot you, I said to Zachary.
Grandma didn’t like to cook, Zachary said.
She liked to cook when she was younger, I said. She taught me. She just got sick of it when she was older.
Jake sat down at the table with his yogurt. I love this place, he sighed.
Jeanine looked over at me.
We decided last night it must be sold. There is someone interested and I am going to follow up on it.
Maybe, I said, we can keep the furniture. Some of it. Not sell it furnished.
If you want, she said. Jeanine does not want to own this property. Her family is in southern Florida. She does not understand my emotional attachment. I hope she doesn’t for a long, long time.
I asked a friend, who is a family therapist, why telling Ben it was not okay to go in the bathroom- at 4:30AM- to brush his teeth because you are ON THE TOILET requires loud wails of sobbing in response?
She said maybe it was because I had “no business being on his toilet at the moment when he MUST brush his teeth.” I know this is true. And then gently added it might have something to do with the transition to staying at his dead grandmother’s house.
As much as I process, I was not prepared for how it would feel.
Nor did I think about how it would feel for them. Ben loved his grandmother. He talks about her.
Grandma still has this! He said, pulling out a cup that Jake made for her. He goes in between past and present tense talking about her.
I gave it to Grandma, Grandma, Grandma, Jake said.
We’re going to Savannah today. Take the short road trip to see the haunted city. Pass on stories about the Civil War to my boys. Share the parts of their family they know little about. It is hard to be in a southern city and not hear my mother’s voice. How it slowly crept back to a drawl, as she got older and older.
Tomorrow, I will contact the interested buyer.
She’s dead. The condo makes no sense to keep. It is, after all, a thing. Just a thing.
It’s time to let go.