BY HOLLY DAY
Copyright is held by the author.
I found her the next morning, feeding stacks of old birthday cards
handwritten letters into the paper shredder. “He never loved me,” she said
by way of explanation, calmly feeding the first of a pile of faded photographs
into the shredder as I watched. “There’s bacon in the kitchen”
I tried to reach out to stop her hand from pushing more and more
of my grandfather into the metal shears that snipped him down to nothing
but it was her father first, my grandfather second, what right did I have?
“He loved you,” I said, watching helpless as a picture of a blond-haired girl in pigtails
holding onto the outstretched darker hand of a man fell into the metal waste basket
in irretrievable strips. She laughed and waved a thick handful of bills at me
justification for erasing her father so completely.
“How do you write someone you love out of your will?” she asked. “Why
is my stepsister getting everything? He even forgot about you!”
I almost said something about
how she hadn’t visited her father for years, while her stepmother’s family
had been a constant in his life up to the end, how maybe there wasn’t anything
left after the nursing home and the hospice, but I don’t, because
that’s my father’s job.