Fragments

The child’s dress is handmade from cotton material that was pink 75 years ago. Its tiny buttons go through tiny, handstitched buttonholes all the way from the bottom to the little scalloped collar.

A pair of black, high top baby-shoes hang by their laces around the neck of the dress on the hanger. There is 75 year old mud on the bottoms.

How absolutely precious it is to me, a grandmother, to think of my own mother when she wore that baby’s dress and those black shoes.

If I could, I would go back and tell her what a good girl she is. I would pick her up and show her a mirror so she could look deeply and squint in the right direction in order to seee the princess in the looking glass.

I would hold her and tell her I’m sorry for breaking her heart as I have done so many times over the years.

And I would ask her to share a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with me on the front porch of a house that doesn’t exist anymore.

We would sit there, together, and forget the time of day.

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