Alda’s Mirror

“Is there anything else you want?” my father asked?

There wasn’t, but I knew no was not an acceptable answer.

“Take anything,” he insisted.

This was 1999. We were in the garage attic of my parent’s house, looking at the trunk that held my grandmother’s belongings—my father’s mother, Alda. I never knew her. She’d had rheumatic fever as a child, which left her with a weak heart. Alda died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1936 when my father was 10. He couldn’t remember a time when she wasn’t sick.

I’d already taken the pink Depression glasses: a few small juice glasses and several larger water glasses. They were wrapped in newspaper in a pile next to the trunk.

I picked up the girl doll with the porcelain head and cloth body. She was big, about two feet long, with dark hair that felt human and eye lids that opened and closed. She wore a green velvet hat. If the hat were life-sized, I would have worn it myself. Continue reading Alda’s Mirror