“Won’t it make you sadder to talk about her?” Delphia asked.
“No, it won’t,” Addie said. “Remember when Grammie died? I wanted to talk about her and remember fun times. But no one would.”
“People think it helps if they don’t bring it up,” I said. “Because they think it’ll make your grief worse, but Addie, you’re right. You don’t forget about how sad you are just because no one talks about the person you lost.”
“I remember one time in Sunday school,” Delphia said. “I made Mrs. Lind laugh really hard.”
“What did you do?” I asked.
“I asked her why God made toots,” Delphia said, quite seriously. “She laughed so hard that tears came out of her eyes, and she had to leave the room for a minute.”
“It was awful,” Addie said. “I wanted to sink into the floor and disappear. Everyone was laughing.”
“Why’s everyone so afraid to talk about toots?” Delphia shook her head, clearly mystified by this lack of tolerance for her curiosity. “Mama says it’s bad manners.”
For the first time that afternoon, I smiled. “There are certain things we’re not supposed to mention in polite society.”
“Well, I still want to know why God made them,” Delphia said. “Also, why did he make the type of bees that sting you?”
“I’d like to know why he gave anyone the idea that cow liver was good to eat,” Addie said. “I plan on asking when I get up to heaven.”
“Everyone’s always trying to get Addie to eat it,” Delphia said. “Because she’s so weak and pale.”
“Which only makes me sicker.” Addie shuddered. ?
??Liver’s disgusting.” She drew out the word disgusting.
“I have to agree,” I said.
“Did Mrs. Lind ever make you eat it?” Delphia asked.
I shook my head. “No, she didn’t. We never had any at our house.”
“Lucky,” Addie said.
“Mother was a terrible cook,” I said. “She often burned our supper.”
“Really?” Delphia asked. “What would you eat then?”
“Sometimes we’d have bread and butter, which Father and I loved. Then, when I got a little older, I started cooking for us.” I flashed back to a cozy evening last winter when I’d made soup from squash and cream. Father had eaten three helpings, and Mother had chastised him for cleaning his bowl with a piece of bread.
“We have Lizzie, so we don’t know if Mama can cook,” Delphia said.
“Lizzie’s the best cook in the whole world,” Addie said.
“Yes, she is,” I said.
The three of us sat together in silence for a moment. Wise Addie was correct. Talking about Mother made me feel better. “Delphia, I was just a little older than you when the Linds took me in. Did you know I was adopted?”
“Mama told us,” Addie said.
“Families are made all different ways,” Delphia said. “Mama told us that too.”
“Because our brothers and sisters had a different mother first,” Addie said.
“I knew them all before Quinn married your Papa.”
“What happened to your real mother and father?” Delphia asked.