My maternal grandmother died when I was 10 years old.

Dorothy’s nails were always perfectly manicured — always a shade of some variation of red.

Always shaped perfectly, always long, as if she never did a hard thing in her life with her hands.

Truth is, she did all the hard things.

She lost a husband and raised her three children herself, taught young minds… I imagine the woman only wanted to stop once in a while.

Perhaps that’s what the nails were perfectly manicured for.

She wore those nails like a badge of honor– that she never had those hard things happen — like she never cried — never flinched.

Never wanted for anything.

But she did.

She fought every day: To never chip a nail.


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