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The year I was eight, Kate was six and Julie nine.

It was the year Grannie came to tell us she had

Three years to live. Put off by the despair of

others her age she wanted to tap into the verve

she had observed running rampant among us.

At our age, three years was a long time. To us, it

Felt like an extended vacation, with her bags

in that downstairs closet next to the coat rack.

She did not act like it was a vacation. From the

Start she set herself apart. There was a little gazebo

On a shaded knoll on our back lawn next to the

Hawthorn tree. The focus of her day lay in the gazebo.

She made it her home, Inviting one or the other of us

To tea or a hand of gin rummy. Certain times of day

She would pray with her Rosary beads clicking lightly.

After while we began to forget what had brought

Her to our gazebo. Her fears did not provoke tears.

She seemed happiest when we three descended on

Her with our giggles and constant wriggles. Three

Years did pass, as did she. We then began to play

Each day in the gazebo. Using Hawthorn seeds as

Rosary beads, we remembered our dear Grannie.

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