Lying in bed, I could only think of the fragility of life. How one simple mistake, one small trip, could end the life of one, and alter the lives of so many others. I eventually drifted off to sleep, but the thoughts and memories filled my mind. As shadowy ghosts, I still recall fragments of my childhood, blurred by the young mind. My grandmother, sitting at the table, eating sardines from a small metal can. I asked her what smelled like the ocean. Me, sitting on the floor playing with oversized Legos, my grandmother, passing from room to room doing chores. Listening to the clock on her wall ticking, gears whirring, chimes breaking into song at the start of each new hour. The bread from her house, toasted, coated in butter from the yellow container in her refrigerator. That toast always tasted better than any other I had ever eaten.
She was a happy woman, a smile always on her wrinkled face. Always eager to be with her friends, her family. Always a story to tell, heard told by separate family members hundreds of times. I would always listen, picturing my relatives as the words spilled out. An entire life of knowledge, imparted to those who knew her, small pieces given to each one. A present far greater than any material object. A life that created, and taught, and laughed, and grew, and loved. Her heart full of the love given and received. Her heart full of youth, full of beauty. Her soul altering the souls of so many others, forever imparting memories and thoughts. She was a beautiful woman. Death cannot erase memories, it cannot erase love, and it cannot ever truly erase life.