I've been flipping through the pictures in my camera; the disk holds so many I haven't unloaded it from Christmas yet. I took a lot of pictures of the pets, because Shandi was sick, and the cats are old, and I didn't know if they'd be there next Christmas. And I took a few extra of my parents, because they've gotten a little grayer, and a little older, and have reached the age where you realize they are mortal.
But there wasn't any shadow prompting the pictures of Edith; I just wanted to catch her mordant humor peeking out under those deceptive southern sorority girl looks. There'd always be next year if they didn't come out well.
They are tiny and sharp and distant on the little screen, unfixed in time. I'm back in the living room, lifting the camera to take another shot. It's as if downloading them will pin them in the now, in the after.