Perseverance by TeraS

I’d mentioned previously that this week would mark another delay in Morgane’s story for family reasons. Last week’s story was something of a remembrance, though that is fleeting, I know. Still, sometimes in all our sadness and wishing the thing that matters is …

Perseverance
By TeraS

In the mortal realm, I am told, it is Easter Sunday. It’s also the day after Grandmom’s birthday this year.

Dad told us both stories about how she loved this time of year: the ways she’d mark the day; the very particular kind of chocolate that she would find in the stores–the chocolate that dad keeps a few foil wrapped blocks of in the kitchen for cooking and other things.

Cassie, Mom, and Dad spent a lot of time yesterday talking about her. It was melancholy at first, of course it would be for Dad. Branwyn and I didn’t go into the room; thinking about that now, we really should have. Still, being in the next room over, we could hear them talking, the stories about Grandmom drifting around us, expressing her love for family, the lessons she’d taught to Dad about life and love, how much she’d meant to Mom, Cassie’s wistful sigh at never meeting her.

Somehow, Grandmom knows the gift she’d given to all of us. Not just Dad and Mom, but Cassie, Branwyn, me … the list is endless when I think about how her love brought us all together and created our family.

It’s just after noon when Branwyn comes into my room carrying one of Dad’s scrapbooks. She doesn’t say anything, just looking at me, clutching the leather-bound volume to her chest. I’m not sure what’s going on exactly as she nudges some of my plushies on the floor beside my bed away and then settles in, the book resting on her lap. I know this mood: something’s up and she’s not sure how to start. Rolling over, I peek over her shoulder at the book: “What’s that?”

She shrugs: “One of Dad’s books about Grandmom.”

I’m excited that she’s found it. It’s the only connection we have with her, the pictures telling of her in a way that stories alone can’t quite manage. “Let me see.” The spine cracks as my older sister opens the book and starts turning the pages. They are very old pictures, all black and white. Grandmom looks really young in them. I recognize that she’d never changed her hairstyle: the bobbed cut is so achingly familiar even if the places and how she looks aren’t the ones that we’ve both seen before. Fashion changes, and Dad’s stories about how she was always up on fashion bring a smile as the pages turn and things change.

It’s in the middle of the book where my blue-tailed sister stops turning the pages and I’m caught by the same image that seems to have captured her. It’s Grandmom holding Dad just after he was born. I can see the joy she has, the smile of triumph–I know that’s for the doctors who said this would never happen. She had an impossible wish and it came true. It tells about her perseverance, something she’d carried throughout her life, the same perseverance she’d passed on to Mom and Dad as I think about it. “I wish we’d met her.”

Branwyn doesn’t answer me. I’m about to ask why she doesn’t when she turns to a page she’d placed a bookmark in, and now I know what’s troubling her. In all of the black and white pictures there’s one in colour that sticks out like a sore thumb: “We do, or did, or something.”

There’s no mistaking either of us. There’s no mistaking her, either. We don’t look like succubi, of course. Our usual look is changed to blue sweaters and jeans from the leather and latex we love. The red checkerboard tablecloth makes me smile; there would be red somewhere, of course.

The mystery tugs at me, pulling me towards it, being irresistible. I want to know more, to be able to remember her, that moment in time when I touched her hand, her perseverance touching our lives again. Branwyn is rubbing a finger along the edge of the picture in thought. I wonder what she’s thinking, what she wants to do. I know: “Better put it back, Sis.”

She makes a decision: “Give me your phone.” A moment later and we both have a copy, safely stored away for us to ponder. My older sister goes off to return the book to where she found it, leaving me to rest on my bed once more, my phone held above me as I consider the picture again. I think about our family, how we have all persevered and where that drive came from. I think we’re all making Grandmom proud of her family.

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