Jan 10, 2024

I sat in her sunroom, on her comfy couch with her floral patterned cushions, and stared into her eyes. She had crouched down on one knee in front of me and said, “Give me your finger.”

She was a woman who always held herself with such poise, a knowing soft smile and had a distinctive laugh, like all the women on my mom’s side. I felt comfortable around her… just being.

I’m not really sure how she knew about my finger, my wart, but she took it in-between her own fingers, gently held it, and closed her eyes.

I watched her. 
I watched her deeply.

I studied her face. Every line. Every wrinkle. Watching for the tiniest movement that could clue me in to understand what was happening.

There wasn’t one. She was perfectly still.

I was no older than age 12, and this wart on my finger was overtaking my life. 

To me, it was as large as a firetruck. I couldn’t notice much else and I tried desperately to hide it every day at school. My dad was a surgeon, so I had gone with him into his office and he'd cut it off…. twice.

He also burnt it off, twice, and froze it off, twice.

It always grew back… bigger.

So here I was, finger in Tootsie’s hands, curiously staring at her face.

I suddenly felt the energy of my siblings on either side of me. They felt warm. The room felt warm.

And then it was as if they disappeared. The television volume seemed to go numb, the air still.

I wasn’t sure if I should close my eyes, too, but I just couldn’t seem to… I wanted to keep watching her face. It still hadn”t moved. She held perfectly still. She didn’t say a word, and then, she was done.

Her eyes flew open and she said, “Don’t touch it or look at it for 7 days, and it will be gone.”

Her gentle, knowing smile arrived back on her face. I smiled back with my own gentle, knowing smile.

I believed her.

For 7 days, I didn’t look at or touch it. At the end of those long, exciting days, I looked down.

It was gone.

There was no wart, and there never was again.

A few months ago, I asked my aunt and uncle about Tootsie. What did they know that I didn’t?

“She 'tried' over things.”
“She had seances of sorts.”

Other than that, she kept to herself about it.

I think of this story every July 4th, on her birthday. Her energy surrounds me, and I feel her blood run through my veins.

I know she knows, and that’s enough for me.

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