There's a glass ornamental butterfly attached to my grandma's sliding glass door. One of those decorations that substitutes as a warning that there is, in fact, glass attached to it. And, pay attention so you don't bust your face.
It sits on the sliding glass door, where it's sat for who knows how long. Standing guard over the yard that I've spent plenty of time in my youth; and not nearly enough as I've grown older.
The pavement of the patio is cracked and waning. Four separate slabs that have been pieced together, built in 1951 when things like that didn't necessarily matter. The wooden frame of the awning has been painted and repainted and is now covered in bits of moss and mold; weathered by time and rain.
It is this backyard where I learned how to do a cartwheel and attempted (and subsequently failed) at performing a handstand. I've laid in it's grass, listening to the whir of motors and honking of horns in the neighboring McDonald's drive thru. It is this backyard that has been breached by unsavory characters, running from the police, in efforts to bypass a very busy intersection of southwest Tacoma. Where my cousin and I had listened intently, each 7 and 8 years old, to the knocks at the door from Tacoma PD... a momentary and dramatic interruption to our sleepover on my grandma's pullout couch.
It is this backyard where I pulled my nephew in a red wagon, all giggles and fat rolls. And where I chased him around a Walmart-special above-ground pool, all limbs and energy.
It is this backyard where I wandered, picking up the spiked shells of the chestnut tree seeds and chased crows away. Where, before my grandma lived there, I counted corn stalks and zucchini plants that her mother had planted.
This is her place. My childhood.
And she passed away.
But everything else still lives.
Rest in peace.