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Tiny Love Stories: ‘In Her World, There’s No Pandemic Outside’

I call my grandma, haunted by the image of her in assisted living without visitors. “You sound even more beautiful than last time I saw you,” she says. Because of her Alzheimer’s, she forgets when that was, but she never forgets her adoration for my sister, Marissa, and me, her “M&Ms.” In her world, there’s no pandemic outside. For our seven-minute conversation, there’s none in mine either. “I’m so happy you called,” she says. “Now I can go to bed with a smile.” Four days later, she’s gone. Coronavirus I didn’t even know she had. — Meredith Lawrence

Hot chocolate with an orange peel. A pink succulent in a ceramic pot. A late-night Target run for yellow Gatorade. Simon is a master of the small gesture. From my parents, I carried the assumption that only the grand gesture is proof of love. Since meeting Simon, I have come to value the minor favor, the daily smile, a murmured “Don’t go” in the morning, a lesson in making cappuccino, the last slice of pear. — Mariah Heinzerling

My first children and first loves (girl, then boy) were born when I was just 23 and 25. Before their teenage years, they lived through a lifetime with me: divorce, second marriage, law degree and career. When I was pregnant again at 37, I braced myself every time someone asked my teenage daughter about the looming arrival of her sister. “My half sister,” she would correct. But when her sister was born, we all fell in love. The full replaced the half: full of love, full of joy, full of song. We haven’t stopped singing. — Angie Jones

“A-law.” This phrase, like many others, is from my father’s Appalachian roots. It means, “What do you expect?” or “I should’ve known.” As a girl, I was embarrassed by my father’s work-worn hands, hesitation to read aloud and lack of formal education. (He left school in sixth grade to work, first as a peddler, then in a quarry.) While waiting for his life’s end at 92, he found little joy in the long days. He hadn’t thought that death would come for him, but as he accepted the inevitable, he would catch my eye, smile slightly and deliver a perfect “A-law!” — Mary Kennedy Brown

Source: NY times

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