The news came through the telephone wires, as it always does, accompanied by the stunned silence and horror that follows
The wires must have shaken as they said the words, they brought life to the lines as though incantations.
It seemed all existence was measured in relation to this event and I found myself unable to adjust to the change from count-down to the stacking of years which had just arrived.
I drove non-stop for days to get there in time, though ultimately all that I had was time.
From outside my old home nothing had changed, not even the maple trees she used to tend so regularly dared to show a sign of grief.
While my siblings sat downstairs, resilient as the maples though their words resonated through the house in consternation and outrage, I was in my old room chipping away at the wall.
I didn't care which of them believed most completely in their own entitlement, I just wanted to make sure I got everything out of the house before the history I'd left behind was erased.
It only took me a few minutes to find the old hole that I'd used to hide marijuana cigarettes and pornographic videos.
I dug my hand inside and pulled out anything I'd left behind, not wanting to lose anything no matter what happened to the house.
I came up with a copy of Stud magazine and an emptied plastic baggy as I'd expected, but also something unusual.
I always thought it was the angel of death, the quiet buzzing that would rattle above my bed from somewhere inside the walls
but as I opened my palm I found nothing more than the hardened shell of a long-dead dragonfly.
I brought it down to show my siblings, but all they said was, "Can't you take anything seriously?" So I went back upstairs and carefully lowered it into the old hole in the wall and left.