I stepped out of my car and onto the cement path that wrapped around the house, leading to the front door. The pink and purple hydrangeas lined the side of the walkway, a bright contrast to the dried out lawn. I lifted my hand out of my pocket and pushed down on the cold gold door handle and walked in.

The aroma instantly triggered my memories of all the times I had entered my grandmother’s home. I was reminded of the big hugs she would greet me with, followed by her cheerful smile that showed off yellow stained sets of teeth. This time was different though. There was no tight squeeze or warm embrace to look forward to. Instead, I walked into the foyer and was greeted by my aunt. “I’m so happy you’re here Soni,” she tried to say enthusiastically. However, there was no way to disguise the tears that had been streaming down her face prior to my arrival. I could feel her hand shake as she placed it on my lower back and guided me into the kitchen.

My cousins sat around the scratched up wooden table where we had played endless rounds of Pokeno and Cinquillo- and had lost nearly every time to our grandmother’s exceptional card skills. The sound of utensils clinking that filled the room came to an abrupt halt. “Soni, we’ve been waiting for you! Come over here,” they said as they pointed to a spare seat. I began to walk over, when all of a sudden my gaze turned to the center island on my right.

On top of the white marble countertop, in a small dish, lay a pair of purple silver studded sunglasses and Buick car keys. It was a strange sight to see. My grandmother’s belongings were placed as they would have been any other day, only now my grandmother was no longer here. I made my way to the seat, poured myself a cup of tea and sipped on it, hoping the warm ginger liquid would spark another memory.