Becky turned another page of her scrapbook.
She peered into a faded photograph.
Flying that kite in the backyard on the green grass. A small yard bright with summer sunshine. The day she found an Indian arrowhead under a stepping stone. Ants in the picnic brownies. That silly dog–his silly name–what was it–Wiggles, and the waving armlike branches of the old crooked oak tree.
That slow rope swing, and cool, satisfying shade beneath wind-rustling leaves. That crazy squirrel. Darting around and around, between the trees. That funny, unstoppable squirrel. The shy small sparrows in the azalea bushes. Dragonflies like green jewels, ethereal pale moths.
Billowing white clouds shaped like sculpted marble, or towering castles high in the sky, shining exactly like heaven at the edges.
A clay pot full of cheerful dahlias. Dandelion fluff that rose like momentary dreams. Sudden hummingbirds. That friendly robin. Diamonds of early morning dew. Gentle waves of tall unmown grass in a soft summer afternoon breeze. The oh-so-sweet smell of green grass.
Her kite, so bright, almost touching the sun.
Becky’s thin fingers turned the pages.
Birthday parties, picnics on the lawn, hide-and-seek, cutting beautiful red roses under the kitchen window, arms twirling wide in a warm summer rain, lying flat on the lush grass, meeting that friend, drinking lemonade from a glass bright with clinking ice, watching for the gopher, painting at a tipsy easel, laughter, idle chatting, repeated bad jokes, learning the guitar, nodding, teasing, stealing kisses, daydreaming, talking with long-vanished best friends on a magic carpet blanket, feeling the so, so soft caress of those passing summers.
She turned through every page. Her scrapbook was just about full.
Becky closed the heavy book and with difficulty set it down on the end table near her wheelchair. Sitting alone, she gazed about the empty, curtained room. It was cold. The room was dead.
Her great-granddaughter flew through the door.
“Hi Great-Ma! What are you doing?”
“Resting. I’m very tired.”
“Why are you tired?”
“Because I’m so very old.”
“Won’t you please come outside with me?” the tiny girl asked. “I’m going to fly my new kite!”
Becky smiled. “Okay.”