the ancestors are close...whispering, nudging, laughing, playing...

i am, all at once, grateful and curious about what they have to share with me...my great grandmother, especially.

i only know her through photos and my mother's stories, although my great aunt looks a lot like her.  she was gone a full 15 years or so before i entered the world.

to me, she's been a sweet presence with a wind-chime laugh, smiling through dreams and waking visions.  and it seems she is part of the crew ushering me into this next phase of life. 

it's her recipe my mother uses for the christmas rolls. although they're always delicious, she says they never come out quite like nanny's. 

she helped with my biscuits last night. they're delicious. i will remember the technique. 

afterwards, i wondered how often she'd guided me around the kitchen...if her chicken-raising in the basement somehow girded my spirit against squeamishness during sacrifice.

her presence reminds me of the long absence of her oldest daughter - my grandmother.  she has been on the other side nearly 30 years now, but it feels like she never really left me.

i knew her briefly. my only memory is of hands the color of old ivory - hands i apparently share, albeit in a deeper caramel - and snatches of a voice. i do not remember the distinctive laugh my mother says she is slowly forgetting.

maybe if i mix her favorite drink, she'll whisper a hello...

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