“Each square in the concrete sidewalk is a step. Well, for grownups it is, but for me -two steps. How many steps from school to home? I lose count. Each time I try. I can’t do it. No matter how hard I try. There’s always something that gets in the way and the whole plan collapses. A dog, a honk, a runaway shopping cart, the crossing guard. I’ve stopped trying. It doesn’t matter anyway. I used to think it only matters if I think it matters, but then I discovered it wasn’t just me -it really didn’t matter.
“I wonder if Grandpa in the convalescent home knows what’s happening. Is he aware of things as they are. Odd concept, that things are a certain way and some no longer know about it. Poor grandpa. He cried the other day, right in front of me and mom. He wanted to go home, and somehow he realized he never would go home again.
“They made him stay in bed because if he got up he would walk out the front door. He did that once. Go Grandpa! The police found him and brought him back. He wanted to be a free man again. A man. The stroke had taken that way from him.
“I hope Grandpa is in heaven when I die. We can laugh, and cry and hug each other over and over for as long as we want. I’m sorry for him. I know that God will make it right.
“So, anyway, the sidewalk slabs are steps home, but they are also steps anywhere. I’ve thought about that. Sidewalk squares I’ve never walked, to places I’ve never been. It’s an exciting thought, but scary. And lonely. My mother who sings in the kitchen would miss me, and I her. Grief stricken. Both of us would be. I know that someday when I am older we will be separated by countless steps on an endless path of sidewalks and never see each other again. God will fix that though, and in heaven we will hug and hug and talk and talk, and I’ll always see her happy, always smiling, always singing. I’m glad God is in charge.
“I didn’t mention that someone else is writing this for me. I’m too young to write. I’ve asked my adult to do it for me. So it really is me, but much older. I know he will do his best to write it the way I tell it but use big words that I would never use so as to better describe what I’m telling him. So if you’re thinking ‘a kid didn’t write this!’, you’re right. He didn’t. Or rather, I didn’t. I told it. My older self whom I trust with all my heart is in charge of the writing. I just hope he can remember everything I tell him -after all he is kinda old! [giggle].”