Here she is.
Pretty much the way I remember her, though this photograph probably dates from the mid to late 1950s, ten to fifteen years before I knew her. Her hair was always in pincurls behind the ears with a curly fluff of bang bunched up front. She always wore cotton print dresses, often with a bibbed apron. Her skin was a uniform pale, pale yellow, marshmallow soft on cheeks and upper arms, and smelling of … what? Powder? Faint perfume? My memory fails me; my mother will know.
I spent much of a summer with her when I was two, which I don’t at all recall but later Aunt Julia told me this: It is lunch time, and she has placed a biscuit on a plate before me, and as she bustles about to serve Uncle Bobby, I lay my cheek on this tiny warm pillow and fall straight into sleep.
My grandfather died long before I was born, and of his sisters and brother who lived into my childhood, she was the only one I knew. The return home from every visit to my grandmother in Newport News began with a slight jog to the left, a turn down Marshall Avenue to see Aunt Julia before we got on the road.