We placed the rusty steel ring atop the stones in the driveway. We filled it with split wood, one piece at a time. We rounded up some lawn chairs and lined them up in a circle. Then, we lit the fire.
My sisters came back home and everyone gathered. My cousin arrived. The sky grew dark as the colors of the sunset faded into a black, starry night. As the wood collapsed onto itself, we added fresh wood to it, keeping the flames alive and the red coals burning.
We told our childhood stories. About getting in trouble, sneaking out, skipping school, and playing games in the yard. We laughed all together, a chorus of laughter with the same tone and same pitch. We spent time together, all of us reminiscing about days gone by.
Grama’s memory stays with us. The finality of the funeral weighs on us. But life continued and there is hope. We found strength in each other.