Widow Home Part I

“The divine source of all life
is the fulfillment of all potential.” – Iyanla Vanzant

After grandpa choked out that night at the Best Western in Ashland Peggy had taken to moving from one end of the town to the other, and she never claimed it, but was it to escape his ghost?

First it was sell the A-frame where she and Ralph raised Moonbeam—the place with the immaculate carpentry, the knobby-pine cabinets and the gazebo in the back. Her first move was a humble move, I felt. It wasn’t the Peggy I knew to move into a mobile home, but she did. And she had a fucking tower built on to it. It was a sand-colored place with bamboo and a rock yard. Not much from the outside but on the inside it was like something out of Memoirs of a Geisha. It only had maybe two bedrooms but Peggy placed several of those oriental-style room dividers throughout, adding mystery and charm to my sixty-someodd (as she would say) year old grandmothers first Widow Home. A Widow Home being, I would later decide, a place where a woman dug into her own soul like digging into a second-hand bin of silk scarves, saying who’s in there?

This place was me opening birthday presents on a warm October day. My dad with his light blue plaid collared shirt tucked in and spotless corduroys. Who dressed him that day anyway? His eyes were bright and redless. Even my great grandparents (the good ones, not the ones who touched me) were there and I ran around in my little red and white dress that grandma Gladys made me on her sewing machine. Peggy called her “Mother”. I liked to play with the sag on her arms and she would laugh and smile sweetly. This was a woman they called practically perfect. This is a woman my 27-year-old self is certain still hangs around, acting as my own personal guardian angel. After all, it was she who in her dying bed made a reluctant Peggy promise, promise she would care for me if and when someone else could not.

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