The house is empty. The laughter and joy and blessings still echo from room to room. We leave our paradise amidst the mist that settles in the eucalyptus trees.
Ali Sun takes my car. I settle at my Bryant St. office, tie up online details, send emails, make a call, have a chat.
My dad calls – my grandma has passed this morning. She was 95. It was her time. Her century on this earth was punctuated by a relentless optimism, warm sense of humor, incredible memory and timeless aphorisms like “You have to find the good in people” and “people are crazy.”
Ellie loved Ali Sun, loved her art. She loved her family, worried about us, took joy in our accomplishments. She told stories from the Depression, from World War II, from second grade. She would often speak a French phrase or two, learned, well, I guess about fourscore and seven years ago.
My dad and Nancy drive up to Los Angeles to meet us for dinner. We toast Ellie, grateful to connect before our journey.
They drop us off at the terminal. I had upgraded our tickets to business class for a hundred bucks each. I write from the United Club. We have stepped into Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, where comfortable seats, light refreshments, a full bar and the most gentle of airport noises take the place of chocolate waterfalls and a candy wonderland. Have you been here? It’s truly a wonderful place.
We board in nine minutes. Midnight draws near. Panama beckons. I miss my grandma.