I had no idea who I was yet but I already knew I wanted to live a life like my grandmother. She knew how to throw one leg over the other and command a room while still making your ten year old self feel like the most important person in it. She taught me how Picasso had to move to Cubism because he had conquered realism. She had grains from the Sahara desert in a blue glass bowl in her sprawling white modern house overlooking the ocean’s harbor that in its day alongside tame Massachusetts Colonials, was mocked as looking like an oversized gas station. She wore an a uncut ruby on her pinkie finger that my grandfather had traded for a pack of cigarettes during the war to bring home to her. She sent him boullion and headline clippings. Once reunited, whenever they read the New York Times together I saw them instinctively lean toward the other and I felt a longing for that kind of love, both as a child and later as a mother. I saw how quickly the very air can escape the beloved left behind and watched as she folded like paper in fire only a short time after my grandfather died. Secretly I had been hoping to have her company all to myself for her remaining days but as soon as I saw her in bed after he died I knew this would not be possible. Still she held out her arms to me while crumpled grieving in bed and called out “Well hello dear!” and for that brief moment gave me everything that was left behind.