My mind is a clock, and I do not know what time it is. My heart has loved, but I do not feel every person who has loved me. My time with my great-grandparents was too short to sincerely appreciate how loving my Nana and Pop were. I can remember visiting my great-grandparents’ with my mom, sister, cousins, and aunt home; I was around six years old. The comfort and love I felt in an unfamiliar home with people I had known for half my life were bittersweet. When I think of this day, I picture all of us talking in the kitchen, and by all of us, I mean the adults because I was either too shy to speak or eating a cookie from my Nana.
We entered a dated kitchen through a creaky screen door, welcomed by a small wooden table to the right of the room. Cold textured tile covered the kitchen floor. Deteriorating wooden cupboards and a white, 90s refrigerator loomed from the left end of the room. My family and I crammed through the entrance. My three-year-old sister Lilly and cousin Michael pushed through the cluster to embrace my grandparents who were awaiting our arrival in the living room to the left of the kitchen. We received hugs and kisses from them both. My two other cousins, Joey and Courtney, and I greeted our great-grandfather “Pop” in the torn blue armchair he sat in, as we climbed onto his lap to get a kiss.
As my childish boredom began to increase, Pop showed Joey and me to the attic, but only the two of us because we were the oldest and allowed to do the “cool stuff.” Through the open living room and into a small dining room, Pop opened the hatch on the ceiling and extended the screeching stairs to the floor. The smell of insulation and dew attacked my nose as we crept up the stairs. We tiptoed across the soft wooden floor as if someone were sound asleep who did not wish to be woken. The clutter of boxes and memories disappeared into the darkness where the light did not reach. Joey and I barely moved, afraid one misstep would cause us to fall through the floor.
As a souvenir from the attic, Pop gave Joey a blue wooden yo-yo, probably because Joey was the oldest boy.
I griped to my mom, “I want something too! It’s not fair Joey gets a yo-yo and I don’t.”
I was on the verge of tears from not feeling appreciated. My Nana quietly listened to my childish whine and immediately acted as any grandmother would.
"Let's go find something you can bring home too," she said softly, and hurried me to her bedroom as she scrambled to find any object to hold back my tears. She grasped a hand-held mirror that caught my attention in an instant: a white crystallized handle with gold metal cascading around the circular piece of glass. I loved it. The mirror was all mine, and no one could take it away from me. That was the last thing I remember from that day.
Some of my memory is scattered with random visuals confused with time, and I don’t know what came first. I don't know when we left, and I don't know what we did after. But I do remember, always using that mirror. My Nana passed away when I was seven, and my mother was distraught. If she cried, I cried too, always looking into that gold-framed, delicate mirror, remembering my short time with my Nana, regretting not knowing her as well. The mirror is now cracked, as fragmented as my memories of that day. Yet both remind me of my loved ones, who even in death mean so much to my family.