By Charity Paschall
I come here often. Every time it rains, in fact, you may find me here. I walk the paths we walked, still holding the umbrella slightly to one side—more to her side than mine—protecting her as I did once, from the raindrops.
I can still feel her tiny hand in mine—still see her smiling up at me—so beautiful, so perfect.
I see her tiny yellow raincoat and cap, tiny black galoshes as she splashes through the puddles. “Hurry up, Gampa,” she says. My beautiful granddaughter, bald beneath her raincap—she enjoys these walks to the bakery for our special treat—rainy day cupcakes.
Now her joy has been stolen—replaced by pain. Her cancer came back, throwing her out of remission and into the hospital. Three months now, she has been there, her body in the grip of the cancer; doctor’s and drugs doing all they can to save my special girl.
I leave her side only when it rains. I’ll bring her back a rainy day cupcake. I know she can’t eat it, but sometimes her eyes flutter open and she smiles a sad smile for me. I smile back at her as my tears echo her pain.
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