I just packaged a bundle of old jewelry to send to my New York nieces, and as I was weeding through a bag of dum dums, I saw a butterscotch one. Suddenly I was 12, standing in my grandmother's red kitchen in the mountains, opening a jar of bright yellow, cellophane-wrapped butterscotch candy, and I felt a surge of loss. In that image were so many others: Nana cooking in that kitchen, the smell of hazelnut coffee, card games after dinner, homemade dumplings, romps through the woods, buckets of stones and salamanders, all being together, the ritual of driving up that steep dirt road every summer.
I opened the lollypop to see if it tasted liker her. It did. A flavor I know will be her for my whole life. And with its sweetness, the sweetness of all those days.