It had been a long day, a very long day, but now, driving east on Interstate 10, I felt relieved that you were finally talking, talking about your past and how quickly our lives were slipping away.
I noticed that the tension in the truck was not as suffocating and I noticed my hands relaxing on the steering wheel as you began sharing your favorite story, the one you always go to when you are afraid, when you need to comfort yourself.
It is always the same story, the story about your grandma, when you were a girl and you were all alone with her.
The story about when you lived with her, in Baton Rouge, when you were just six or seven years old.
Always the same, you start by saying it was a quiet Sunday morning in the spring, and the redbud trees near her old farmhouse were just blooming and you were sitting in her lap out on the front porch, in the old rocking chair, and she was singing to you while she braided your hair. She was wearing her favorite blue gingham dress and she smelled like Ivory soap, and you could hear the sound of the porch boards creaking as she slowly rocked back and forth, while holding you in her arms.
I smiled when you said it was all just like yesterday and, even though I’ve heard this story countless times before, I also knew how much it comforted you and how important it was today, of all days, for you to tell it.