I don't know where we were. She was visiting, a surprise. When I put my hand on her arm, it was so thin. Anyone could see that, but there was the feel too, warm and dry, the bones right there, unapologetic. I thought I might wake up to hear that she had gone, but that call hadn't come yet.
Cantaloupe always reminds me of her. Small dogs with underbites, and those snake-looking things that are used to clean swimming pools. Kidney shaped swimming pools. Orca whales, Shamu in particular, and those little sailor hats, like the one Gilligan wore on the island that bore his name. Matching skirts with extra twirl, corduroy vests. The desert. Small lizards. Tijuana and its brightest, cleanest souvenirs. Big tissue paper flowers, papier mache marionettes. White hair, fresh curls from the beauty parlor, baby blue slacks. The scar on the heel of my palm. A disdain for what she'd call "nasty neat". Pet rocks. The phrase "Well, that's true," said in a certain tone. My own mother. The Lawrence Welk show, over football. Football too. The Arizona Cardinals and Matt Leinart. The black puffy vest I bought myself at the Gap from her one year, that I still wear at least a decade on. I can't think of her without thinking of her husband. I don't know how to know who is at peace with what, and what will surprise us later. I wonder if there's anything to apologize for, or if it's all okay. The town of Malmo in Sweden. Needles wrapped in a grosgrain pouch, tiny double-pointed sets for socks, single pointed in sizes for baby sweaters. I don't know why that's the thing I am most thankful for, I only know it is.