When my father smiles, the wide gaps between his teeth are on cartoony display. His family could afford braces for only one child, and, as the girl, his sister’s looks won priority. In adulthood, Debbie was the homeless woman with perfect teeth.
The last time I saw my aunt was Christmas 2007. I was home in North Carolina for winter break during my senior year of college. I’d just completed my second term of French, and, on Christmas day, I was arrogant in my use of rudimentary language skills to make snide remarks to my French-fluent mother. A gruff smoker’s laugh interrupted my stilted chatter, and Debbie piped up in proficient French. [READ MORE]