I carry a small notebook in my purse literally everywhere I go (I can’t sit still for long without jotting something down, and if I don’t have my notebook on me, I use my phone’s notepad) but there is one place my laptop stays parked, ironically, and that is in my home office. In a recent, previous life, this was the room where my grandma and I used to escape into our own little world.
My grandmother was the light of my life and every single moment we spent together during my childhood was euphoric in its joy and happiness, always blanketed in unconditional love. The room itself looks quite different now, but as I sit here writing, I can still “see” the giant bin of books in the corner, the ones we’d read over and over, the recliner chair we’d cuddle in as we read them, and my drawings taped up all over the walls around us.
The one thing that remains from the original room is the framed photo of me smiling in my Kindergarten school picture, which I keep propped up on the windowsill, because that’s where we used to sit as 5:30 drew near and we waited for my mom to come home from work. Grandma would stand behind me with her hand supporting my back, and when I saw my mother, I’d yell “Mommmayyy!” and grandma would laugh because of the way it startled other passers-by.
This is the room where she would coo over everything I presented to her, drawings, stories, plays, and told me, “You’re going to be something special one day.” I hope I’m proving her right.
–Helaina Hovitz, Author of AFTER 9/11: One Girl’s Journey Through Darkness to a New Beginning