I was going through the last boxes of books in the garage when I realized my grandma’s photos were not in there. I ended up throwing away all of my photos, which sucks more than I can tell you. But I found my grandma’s photos in my dresser drawer, where I swear I have looked a million times before.

As I get older, I have a more complicated relationship with the memory of my grandmother, but it is not outweighed by how unabashedly easy it was to love her as a child.

You look at a picture and you think it can tell you something, but usually, it doesn’t spill its secrets.

I felt bad about throwing out my pictures and then, for a second, I had the thought that it didn’t matter because there would never be a granddaughter to wish she had them to try to understand. And I felt like I had failed. It’s been a long time since I’ve had that particular feeling of failure.

But there it is.

Sometimes I wonder if the compulsion to view a husband and children as “winning” isn’t older than just this body. I wonder how that fits into those photos. And I don’t know, but I’m glad to have them back.