Olivia’s memories were a heap of soggy brown leaves. Gone were the bright colors and sharp edges. Instead her mind wandered through decomposing mush.

Someone was looking at her. Olivia stared into those keen hazel eyes, groping for recognition, but the detritus of long years crumbled away in her grasp. My sister, she thought.Maggie? Do you need something?”

The expression twisted into concern, and Olivia realized her mistake.“Joanna,” she said, correcting herself. “I’m sorry. Sometimes it all just gets a little . . .”

“I know, mom.”

Her daughter spoke compassionately, but with a pitying note that turned Olivia’s stomach. Or maybe that was actually something she ate. She had obviously eaten some of the turkey and potatoes that had been piled on her plate, though she couldn’t remember it. A child ran past. Whose kid? She had no idea. But they were at her house, so they must be related to her. There were people moving all around her, a cacophony of voices, a swirling current she couldn’t keep up with.

Life, vibrant and clear, and growing in the midst of it – love.

“Mom? Is something wrong?”

Olivia’s eyes were clear and shining when she answered, “I’m just so thankful.”

* * *

Story by Gregory M. Fox


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