Annette. Such a little bit of a person. Emma couldn’t get over it. A daughter-in-law and two married daughters, all three of them pleasant, coming in and out all afternoon to visit Annette. One of them, Gracie, talked about her garden with Emma, pulling up a chair to sit beside her and ask real considerate questions about what Emma could eat and what she couldn’t eat, given her problem. Emma had grabbed the first opportunity that came along to make clear that, even though her colostomy surgery had been more than a year ago, and she’d been living with that darn bag ever since, she got terrible cramps, like a toothache, if anybody wanted to know. So she was in to see about them. Gracie looked real sympathetic, and said she had the most wonderful string beans this summer. “I’m going to bring you some to take home with you when you’re out of here, Emma.”

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