The massive lock jolted open with a sudden thud, as if it had just awoken from an unexpectedly long and restful sleep. I gave the handle a gentle push and stepped inside. Although the air was stale, the mellow rays of the afternoon sun lent the room its familiar warmth. For a moment I thought she would come out of the kitchen carrying a trey of poppyseed beigli in her hand and a reassuring smile on her face. Knowing that soon I would be cleaning and packing up my grandmother's house felt like she died again; I felt guilty having to remove the memories that witnessed her long and adventurous life.
Julianna pressed down on the rusty handle and it gave way with a sudden thud. She pushed it gently and stepped inside. Warm afternoon sunlight flooded the living room and the hallway and Julianna took a deep breath. She turned toward the kitchen and, for a moment, a smile full of expectation and sadness flashed though her face. Here she was, two years after her grandmother's death, ready to clean the house and remove Teresa's personal belongings so that the new owner could put his mark on the house that witnessed her long and adventurous life.