by Erin Pineda
She was already sick by the time I was old enough to remember her, the cruelty of her brain chemistry turning a steadfast woman suspicious and paranoid, a fastidious woman sloppy and careless. "Dementia" is a cartoon villian to a six year old, and I didn't understand. She was already sick by the time I was old enough, and so I didn't understand either when my dad said, years later, that he wished I'd known her before. This is how I remember it: three o'clock in the afternoon, and she's sitting in her favorite chair eating a handful of dry roasted peanuts, crumbs spilling onto her tiny lap, crumbs spilling onto the seat and the floor. She stands up and examines the remnants for a few seconds with mild disgust, before brushing them on to the floor with a swish of her arm, proclaiming: "Clean tomorrow!" This is how I remember it: my grandmother was a funny woman.
Erin Pineda has been spending a lot of time lately thinking - and writing - about the past. She wishes she'd known her grandmother better, who was indeed a funny woman. Erin is the author of New Year's Resolution.