that broke when Grandpa died, the softpack in pocket, cigarette moving in his lips as he called the horses, as he maneuvered the bailer this way and back. The smoke he blew into his daughter's ear, warm and soft as he carried her sick and with ear ache in his big coat to the doctor. Now 12 years later the woman he loved with the proof of 4 children (one, my dad), a daughter still living with her, loving her, caring for her as if her own daughter--now she sleeps with the pulse of the electric heart keeping time where time had stopped itself briefly this morning.
Dad called this afternoon with this news. Grandma is in the hospital and has had a pacemaker installed. It only happened this morning, unplanned--though when do we ever plan for heartbreak? And she is resting and 90 years old. The woman who taught me piano, embroidery, granny squares. The woman whose quart and pint jars hold my own harvest now. My pen pal for 19 years, each letter saved in batches and Lord, let me write more.
And if you would, a prayer for my grandma? Her name is Laura Pansy Smith. God will know who you are talking about.