The pale blue envelope’s ragged edge stuck out from others in the stack, nearly hidden between the loose sheets of torn out magazine pages and recipes taped to notebook paper with yellowed tape. Emma’s grandmother had saved everything. She knew a monumental amount of work lay ahead just to get this one room sorted for the estate sale only four days away. She was mentally ready for this task and knew she needed to be efficient, but thorough. Uncle King said he’d found a trove of vinyl records in the garage and stock certificates at the bottom of a dusty box of mason jar lids in the basement. Who knew what Emma might discover in Grandma Helen’s sewing room.
Sliding the envelope from the stack Emma slumped into the wing back chair upholstered in the golden velour she always associated with her grandmother. This is where they’d come after supper when Emma was little to read and play with the felt stories Grandma Helen made by hand. Emma turned her head toward the right wing and inhaled, eyes closed, trying to smell the light floral perfume that should still be trapped in the fabric. All she could smell was the punch of lemony antiseptic that had taken over the house as quickly as the cancer took over her Grandmother’s cells. Nothing would ever be the same.