Leah, in her blue bathrobe, wraps herself in her prayer shawl. She puts on the purple hat that her daughter Jocelyn knit for her.
She steps outside. The morning sun is splendid.
The daffodils are blooming and so is the hyacinth. Her grandfather's irises are growing taller.
It’s too early to plant. But she sticks her hands in the damp dirt and feels the warming soil between her fingers.
She can’t see her grandchildren because of the pandemic. Who knows when it will be safe to do so? Who knows when she can hug them and hold them in her arms?
Suddenly she is crying. She sobs for several minutes. Then she dries her eyes and blows her nose. She goes into the house and picks up her journal and writes:
I cry. Buckets. Of tears.
Piango. Secchi. Di lacrima.
Because I miss the children and love them so much.
Perchè mi mancano i bambini e li amo così tanto.
Then she remembers what Peggy said to her yesterday after she read part of the novel.
“You keep saying that you really miss seeing your grandchildren. But then you say you feel your mother’s presence all the time. I’m not sure I understand, can you not also feel your grandchildren?”
Leah closes her eyes. Breathes slowly. And deeply. She feels the breath rising into her nostrils. She feels the breath filling up her chest.
She keeps picturing Ronen and Dani in her mind. She sees their tiny faces. She sees Ronen making his little sister do belly laughs.
Leah imagines the children resting on her bare chest. They rest there. Warm and soft.
Then she folds them into her heart just the way she holds her Mom and Dad.