Cherished Memories

Grandma Emma

Sharing Stories
December 24, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.
Grandma Emma
Grandma Emma Lorette Alpers

 Grandma Emma

Several of my core childhood memories can be credited to my cherished grandma Emma.

Grandma moved into a rent controlled senior high-rise in downtown Seattle when I was 11. Riding the elevator and jumping at the precise moment to experience the sensation of weightlessness never grew old.

Being on the 17th floor, trash was disposed via a garbage chute located in the hallway on each floor. The stainless-steel door of the chute opened like a large postal collection box. Despite the blast of cold air, or hot in the summer, and stink and taste of rotting garbage, dropping a bag of garbage, and listening as it tumbled floor by floor was a thrill. 

Grandma’s apartment was sparce. She did have several small animal figurines that she treasured. One afternoon, I gently lifted the best and largest one, a Great Dane, from its designated spot. I took it and my imagination into the brightly lit bathroom to play. As the adventure made its way onto the icy tiled shower floor, the dog’s fate was sealed. The soft clink as it fell onto its side and shattered, contrasted with my instant remorse. Grandma’s sad eyes and gentle rebuke allowed me to internalize empathy for her and self-responsibility for the loss.

At night, I slept on a firm leather divan that rested along an accordion room divider. Lulled to sleep by sirens and the dense sounds of the city, the neon and twinkling of the night sky faded away. That memory still relaxes me.

Lorette is a native of Washington State, making her home on both sides of the mountains. She says her business ventures and writing reflect her desire to leave a positive footprint.

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