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June 25, 2005

Tanya: Growing dim

I can still remember her face, the way she smelled, her fingers in my hair.

I have a letter she wrote me from Cairo, and one lock of her golden hair, curled like a fiddlehead fern. The silver locket that belonged to her mother, too. And the fuzzy flannel shirt she wore at the lake that summer, when we sat in the canoe, laughing and watching the fish ignore the minnows on our hooks. And nothing more. Only memories.

"Be still, my darling," she whispered to me, sitting beside the bed. "Mommy will be right back." And she never was.

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