Meet Granny. I’m not sure how old she is in this photo, but my guess would be somewhere in her mid- to late forties or possibly her early fifties. She was born in 1926 and died November 3rd, 2005. Tomorrow, March 3rd, is her birthday. She would’ve been 88 years old. I planned the entire ULT release schedule around this date, for the sake of honoring her memory with a story I’ve struggled with for several years now. I’m nervous and elated, relieved and anxious.
The story is fiction, but it’s rooted in a lot of truth, and I’m sure there will be questions from some of you about where the separation exists. Some parts happen in the story as I remembered them; others are fabricated for the sake of the story. The one truth binding this all together, though, is Mildred R. Walters, and I have something to tell you about her that I didn’t share in the story.
Years ago, before the strokes took away most of her mobility, Granny gave me a gift at Christmastime. A pair of turtle dove ornaments. If memory serves, I believe they were from the second Home Alone movie, a detail which is inconsequential to this post but something to be shared nonetheless. Anyway, turtle doves come in pairs because they form strong bonds, and have come to symbolize devotion, love, and friendship. Granny gave me an ornament and kept one for herself, so we’d always be reminded of each other.
I didn’t work this detail into the story because it seemed too personal at the time. I was already a blubbering mess when I wrote it, and the turtle doves were too much for me. But now, in retrospect, I wish I’d included them. It might’ve made the story a little less dark.
So . . . tomorrow is for you, Granny. Happy birthday, my dear friend. I miss you every day.