The Sun Room was made mostly of glass. It looked out onto the hazelnut tree and the apple trees and the horses' field. There, Granny and I cut pictures of flowers out of gardening catalogues. I loved following the outlines exactly with my scissors. We glued the shapes into a collage on the walls around the windows. The bright colors made me happy.
Granny let me watch and imitate the way she made flowers out of crepe paper. They were as big as peonies, but I think they were roses, or perhaps imaginary flowers. Green sepals held the petals to wire stems wrapped in green paper. Granny taught me the word sepals.
I watched as she tipped out white clay heads from the molds she had made. She placed them among the flowers and painted them in shades of turquoise and gold, making the hair a rich black like her own had once been.
"Nefertiti was the most loved wife of the Egyptian King," she said. "One of her titles was 'Sweet of Love'."
"When people love each other, can it last forever?" I asked her. "Do you still love my granddad?"
I had no memory of my grandfather but I had seen photographs.
"When I saw your grandfather walking along Brighton Beach with two children," my grandmother said, "I knew it was fate. I knew that we were going to marry."
"How did you know?" I asked. "Did you know that you loved him?"
"I just knew it was fate that I would marry him," she said. "And I did."
"Did Granny love your dad?" I asked my mother later.
"They stayed together," my mum said. "I think she must have loved him once. But at the end, she used to say she was going to put rat poison in his food."
My mum found Granny on the floor in the kitchen next to the Sun Room. Later, laid out in her coffin, I wondered where she had gone. Her face looked smooth and white like clay, but her hands were translucent like crepe paper. Someone had painted her cheeks and lips pink, and her eyelids turquoise although she never wore eye shadow in life. I didn't see my mother cry, but I knew she had because she wore dark glasses and her face looked sad. I wanted to ask if the love could last if the person wasn't there, but it seemed as silly as asking if that was really my grandmother in the coffin.