it all went as well as it possibly could go, in a weirdly wonderful way. the Signs were plentiful...from the three perfect black shells and one black feather Beloved and i found on the beach before we tackled the attic, to the two white feathers i found on the way to the signing - it wasn't a closing because the paperwork glitch delays things til thursday - to the enormous clam shell Beloved found in the surf afterwards.
the treasures remaining in the attic were worth going back forth - a journal i wrote at 15, my grandmother's high school yearbook, the stool from the back kitchen. it was the most useful piece of furniture in the entire 25 rooms, i explained to Beloved, as i carried my trophy, triumphant, to the car. my brother and i used to fight over this stool. (it pleases me no end i won.)
i treated myself to some serious retail therapy - a dress and scarf from my favorite dress shop, an embroidered jacket-sweater from my favorite head shop. i indulged in all my favorite foods - black and white milkshakes, taylor pork roll, shrimp, and flounder caught off the pier and fried golden-crisp.
after i signed all the papers, Beloved and i drove out to the cemetery to see "the folks" as i liked to say when i'd drive my grandmother out there.
i did it, roey, i said, as i dug the hole. just as you wanted.
in the jewish religion, said Beloved, with just a hint of hesitation, as i patted the dirt around the rosemary, when you visit a grave you leave a rock. if you don't mind, i brought two from pond house - from our house.
this is one of the reasons i love him. go get them, i said.
and furthermore, the war will end... blessed be.