There have been times when Arrine will make comments about Grandma Anne-Marie that don’t quite make sense to me. In that if I took the literal meaning of what Arrine told me, she can see and hear Grandma Anne-Marie. And before, I would explain these comments away, with the normal miscommunication you can expect from a toddler. But now that her speaking and vocabulary has evolved, there are some things that I just can’t explain away.

Like a couple of weeks ago. Arrine and I decided to make chocolate chip cookies. Of course using Grandma Anne-Marie’s recipe. I put music on in the living room, the soundtrack to Slumdog Millionaire. It was a bit of an odd choice, but I did. Arrine had never listened to it before, nor had I ever told her how it held such a strong connection to my mom for me. Each day while mom was in the hospital, I listed to this soundtrack in the car on my drive there and then my drive home. And when my parents had been in the city visiting before she was sick, I took them to see the movie at the Garneau because I loved that movie so much.

So when Arrine came into the kitchen from the living room, dancing, and said to me, “She’s singing. She’s singing and dancing.” I of course asked, “Who? Who’s singing and dancing?” And dear, sweet, adorable Arrine replied, “Grandma Anne-Marie!” And my heart stopped. And I felt weird. And I got down to Arrine’s level and asked slowly, “…can you see Grandma Anne-Marie?” And she didn’t really answer. So then I asked, “Can you hear Grandma Anne-Marie?” And again, she didn’t actually answer. She just said, “She’s singing and dancing.” And the spun her way back into the living room.

And left me standing the in kitchen, holding a spoon with chocolate chip cookie dough, absorbing what just happened. And then I ate some dough, right off the spoon.