I still remember the day. December 6, 1995. I had been working at my part-time job at a computer store just off-campus, suffering through a wicked head cold. I’d begged my manager to let me leave early, but he’d needed me to stay. (I remember feeling not only put out, but tortured — I hadn’t done much all day.) I had trudged the two-odd kilometres back home just itching to crawl into bed and not emerge for a day or so. But when I placed my foot on the driveway of the house I was living in, I had a feeling that something wasn’t right.
I rushed inside, quickly descending to the room in the basement I’d rented (I was one of seven students in the house; four up, three down), and immediately went over to my phone, not removing my jacket. There was the familiar pulsing tone that said I had voicemail. It was my father. Dad never called me. Mom would always call, then hand over to Dad. He was quiet, saying only to call home when I got in. The news was short.
Grandma had died.