When Ginger gets up in the morning and first stands she looks like a newborn fawn touching down, the legs wobbly, on stilts. But I don’t stretch, it’s the discomforts of my past I remember in my joints, stumbling down the steps in a German subway in lederhosen, shoes a half size too big.
Mom has a special ring she wanted to fix so we took it to the nearby jewelry store and they studied the break but it’s not clean, it’s a hard fix, it needs a brace with the solder.
The jeweler is white, bald, wearing a tie and an apron and his hands are cold like ice, he says, always that way.
He studies the ring under the microscope and I realize one of his fingers is missing a digit, the ring finger.
He explains it’s a bad cast, something made it porous on one side of the break. Mom tells him it’s really important to her, and what can he do to fix it.
They take an image of the diamond, its unique DNA, and have my mom sign for it but the jeweler’s assistant calls us over to look in the microscope: there’s a bubble trapped in the middle of the gem and it reflects like a kaleidoscope off each of the faces, beautiful—
and later we get a tree and drive it home, we stand it up and string out the lights and the kids come down to decorate it but some of the ornaments are from my mom’s last house in Pennsylvania and it’s too hard for her to look at them.
It makes me wonder about the nature of grief and how we store it or if we even should, if it’s something you need to process instead, to let it pass through—
and as my kids hang the ornaments I watch them from the love seat in the corner, a bubble trapped inside the middle of a stone reflecting off the faces, the glass balls and branches, the lights and what’s there, between us.