Alda’s Mirror

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

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

“Take anything,” he insisted.

This was 1999. We were in the garage attic of my parent’s house, going through 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.

Some pink Depression glasses—a few juice glasses and several larger water glasses—were wrapped in newspapers in a pile next to the trunk, ready for me to take home.

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