The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I interviewed my grandmother Alice at my home. She told me about Joan, who she met already as an adult but stayed her friend for the rest of her life. My grandmother told me how Joan was her soul mate. I always knew Joan as Nanna Joan and, despite there never being any blood relations, their friendship made her family, and she was another grandmother to me.

“Friend or family?” said the desk assistant.

“Family,” Alice responded. She was escorted through the doors into the hospital room. While entering, she felt her hands shaking and, despite her efforts, could not stop the motion. She saw Joan on the bed, her right leg raised and covered in bandages and her hip in a brace.

Joan looked up with a face of wrinkles but a gleam in her eyes. Smiling, Joan said, “I got jealous of your break, decided to get one of my own to catch up.”

Despite her tears, Alice smiled as well. “I slip in my kitchen and break my hip, then you go and get hit by a car and call it catching up.”

“Guess I’m growing dramatic in my old age.” Joan retorted.

Alice walked over to Joan’s side and kissed her cheek. “I’m happy you’re okay,” she said.

“Trust me, hun, I’m glad I am too.” Joan said as she embraced Alice. They separated and Alice moved to sit in a chair by the bed. She made herself comfortable, setting herself up to be a sentinel over her friend.

Several times, in the moments when their conversation lulled, Alice tried speaking up about something bothering her. However, as the words rose to her lips, emotion caused them to fall back down into her soul. Eventually, the words came out, and she said, “I was scared Joan, after losing Chuck I couldn’t stand losing you too.”

Joan looked at her friend with a surprised look. They stared at each other, having a conversation in their eyes that could never be translated into words. Finally, Joan said, “Takes more than a car to make me leave. You know how much of a stubborn old bitch I am.”

Alice smiled sadly and, while looking at her friend, she replied, “Well we old bitches got to stick together, so don’t bail out yet.”

Friend of the Family

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2000s
Willow Grove, PA

I interviewed my grandmother Alice at my home. She told me about Joan, who she met already as an adult but stayed her friend for the rest of her life. My grandmother told me how Joan was her soul mate. I always knew Joan as Nanna Joan and, despite there never being any blood relations, their friendship made her family, and she was another grandmother to me.

Decade: 2000s
Rating:
Recorded by Dylan Ford on March 13, 2019
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