Leona, Pt. 2
Give and Take
I loved going to Leona’s house; I accompanied my father there every Saturday. There was something comfortably ritualistic about my visits. Predictable without being boring, I looked forward to going to Granby every weekend.
When I walked in the door, they were always there, resting on the old vinyl tablecloth that covered her even older and less attractive table: Freihofer’s Cinnamon Donuts. With a wide smile, she would always wink at me when I took the first bite. Later, she would teach me the nuances of baseball while watching the Game of the Week (she loved the Reds). We would talk about school and sports, play with the ball she kept in the basket beneath her phone, and look at the trophies, medals and toys that I would bring to share.
But my warmest of memories was from the coldest of days. Leona had a small hill on the west side of her home and it was perfect for sledding during the winter. It was great, because it was steep, but short. I could travel quickly, without needing to walk too far to get back to the top to go down again. One day, I decided, unsuccessfully, to surf down her hill on my toboggan. As I lifted my face from the snow, my skin burning from the cold, I saw her watching from the bathroom window, smiling. Our eyes met, sharing a moment.
She gave me her love. In exchange, I brought her happiness.