Reposting in honor of the anniversary of the crash. It was such a sad day, and freezing, freezing cold.

mcconnellsgurl

“Those people went up,” Mama said, “but they didn’t come down.”

I heard my great-grandmother speak but didn’t really pay attention. The night before, a freezing January wind had blown through and had chilled our house to around 40 degrees inside; I was busy trying to find warmth for my bedridden great-grandmother. When my mom had left for work, she’d called me from college across town to come and sit with Mama. The heat wasn’t working because the oil had run out the night before, Mother had to work – of course I would stay.

“Maybe stay just until the oil man comes,” Mother said. “If you get the fire going, Mama might stay in bed until I get home.”

We didn’t have central heat; that was something that had come along after our house had been built and we couldn’t afford to add it, so we used an old…

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