I was dusting her room

and found the bit of green construction paper we had cut into strips then stapled into links to make a chain we used to rip piece by piece one link per day anticipating Christmas.

She loved making the chain with me. I hung it on the door in late November, just after Thanksgiving vacation when she was home on break. We had made origami at the dining room table too. I found the little whales in her backpack which still hangs from her door.

Christmas is over. But I let it in a little this year, when I sang my heart out at the nursing home with the ninth graders. It can't be the same as making origami with Elizabeth but I do love her and I love the young people in my life, who can never replace her but who keep growing up without her.


  1. A Smith mother stopping by to leave a petal of love and heartache for you. I'm so sorry.
    ~Smith Mom~

  2. I'll always remember those endless hours of origami, what fun! I still have a bag full of swans.


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How Dina Aunty relished her memories. Mummy and Daddy were the same, talking about their yesterdays and smiling in that sad-happy way while selecting each picture, each frame from the past, examining it lovingly before it vanished again in the mist. But nobody ever forgot anything, not really, though sometimes they pretended, when it suited them. Memories were permanent. Sorrowful ones remained sad even with the passing of time, yet happy ones could never be re-created—not with the same joy. Remembering bred its own peculiar sorrow. It seemed so unfair: that time should render both sadness and happiness into a source of pain.

> From A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry