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咖啡·人生 The Good Things in Life(2)

ry week. Grandmother didn’t talk to me after that about the “coffee 16)catastrophe” as I called it, but eventually, she did start to make more ridiculous claims concerning her favorite drink.

  “I knew your grandfather was the right man for me because we loved our coffee the same way,” she said. “Cream with just a touch of sugar.”

  I rolled my eyes. “Grandmother, many people like it that way.”

  “I disagree,” she said. “For most people, if they prefer cream, they like a lot of sugar, or at least a moderate amount. Those who drink it with just a touch of sugar usually put milk in it, or drink it black.”

  “So what if Papa preferred his coffee black? Or with milk and 17)sweetener? Does that mean that you would have never married? That I wouldn’t be here today?”

  “Oh don’t be silly,” Grandmother said. “I won’t think about your grandfather preferring his coffee any differently. I don’t know what would have become of us. But you, my dear Alexa, belong to me. You would be here no matter what.”

  The last time I saw Grandmother was a Sunday just like all the others. I sat down at the table with Grandmother and she looked at me with a very intense look in her eyes.

  “Do you ever think about heaven?” she asked me.

  I stared at Grandmother and stopped chewing for a moment.

  “Well, do you?” she asked again.

  “Umm, not really,” I said, growing increasingly uncomfortable with this line of conversation.

  “Well, I’ve been thinking about it lately,” Grandmother said. “I mean, I am getting to that age where I realize that I don’t have much more time here on earth. And I’ve just been thinking lately about heaven—and what’s there and what’s not. And I just hope that when it’s my time to leave this world, the next one has everything that I love here.”

  “And what’s that, Grandmother?”

  “Good food, good people, and good coffee.”

  I smiled at Grandmother’s simplicity and love for the good things in life. And I hoped that she would find exactly what she would be looking for in the next world.

  Grandmother passed away later that week. They found her sitting in her favorite 18)rocker in the living room, half a cup of freshly brewed coffee by her side. And somehow, I knew that it was a sign that everything would be all right for Grandmother.

  Now, years later, I’m frequently reminded of my Grandmother. The scent of freshly baked banana bread, or the way someone will kiss me on my cheek will bring a quick flashback of her. But my memories are always most vivid when I step foot into a coffee shop, the aroma of freshly roasted beans and brewed coffee livening my senses.

  “What would you like?” the person at the counter asks me.

  “A medium hazelnut,” I say. “Cream with just a touch of sugar.”

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