A Place Where Abba Plays and Brothers and Sisters Reunite, Dance, and Sing

Today the world lost a precious, beautiful woman. Lost a laugh and voice it will miss. So please turn on Abba and feel free to cry along with we who were lucky enough to know and love her (there was no knowing without loving, that much I promise). Love you, Violet. You were a miracle in every way.

Sometimes I think of my grandmother’s hands, and the way a teacup shakes, now, when she carries it from the kitchen to her chair. Because these days my grandmother is growing older in a way you can see it happening. I see her and think of a very big number, and my reflex pulls me backward into history, hers. I hear air raid sirens and smell black-market tobacco and fried eggs, then I see a great expanse of Indianan field and the smell of hamburgers, then think of that moment when I was a kid standing with my grandmother in Spicer’s 5 & 10, and I asked her to buy me a toy, and she said she didn’t have money for the toy, and I said, then can’t you just write a check? And she looked at me as if I was some alien boy who lived on a planet vastly different from her own, but now my planet was hers, too, and since it was a planet on which she could knit, and brew tea, and laugh uproariously and dance and drink shandy, she decided to stay.

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