“Okay Em, what did you want to talk to me about?”
It had been another glorious day, followed by another spectacular sunset. Em had been hoping to stall a bit longer, but Kat was stubborn.
“Family tradition,” Em thought with a chuckle.
“First of all, no matter what, please remember that I love you so very much.”
Kat sat up in alarm, eyes wide. “Em are you sick? What’s going on?? Talk to me!”
Em gently patted her arm, attempting to calm her. “No, my darling girl, I’m healthy as a horse. I promise. This is just hard to talk about. You’ve asked me what happened between your Mom and I, and I’ve always brushed it off. You deserve an answer, and I’ve kept it from you too long. Because I’m a cowardly old woman who was afraid of losing you.”
Kat’s eyes filled with tears, and she wrapped her Grandmother in an embrace. “That will never happen. You’re stuck with me lady.”
That elicited a small smile, and Em spoke again. “Women in our family have always had certain…talents. Like how animals always love us, even the ones who don’t like anyone. Or when we’re running late, all the lights are green. Little things, that if you cultivate them, can turn into something much more.”
Kat nodded silently, thinking of the times she had been certain she was going to be late for work, only to arrive with time to spare.
Em continued, “Gayle hated being different. Not only did she refuse to learn how to use her gifts, she tried to bury them, forget they existed. I mostly let it go, because I didn’t want to push her further away. Then you were born, and we were all so thrilled. You were the perfect little girl, the sweetest, cutest baby ever.”
That made Kat laugh a little, but Em insisted it was true.
“When things started popping up around you, I never mentioned it, but I saw your Mom getting more and more tense. We took you to the zoo when you were not quite a year old, and every big cat enclosure we went to, the animals came right up to the glass just to look at you. I kept my mouth shut, but Gayle cut the visit short and insisted on going home.”
Em’s voice was shaking now, and she hesitated. “What happened Em?” Kat prompted gently.
“You were just about to turn two, I was at the house visiting and talking to your parents about whether they were ready to move you out of the crib into a toddler bed. You had been put down for a nap, when we all heard you giggling. It was that I’m up to something laugh, so Gayle got up to go check on you, and Richard and I followed. By the time we reached your bedroom door, Gayle was screaming. You had woken up from your nap, gotten bored, and decided instead of calling for someone to come get you, you were going to have a dance party on the floor of your room. You were standing up in your crib, watching all your stuffed animals having a grand old time on the carpet.”
…to be continued