A predisposition to skin and breast cancer
A hook nose- no, a beak, a protruding monstrosity that would make me cry in front of the mirror before middle school dances
A pearl necklace
A porcelain statue of a Royal Air Force nurse that is just like what I imagine my grandmother to have looked like when she met my grandfather
Silver plates with the emblem of a flying fish with a cherry in its mouth
An ivory statue of Ganesh from the days of the empire and all the white guilt that goes with it
A Swiss music box
So many photos- of my grandmother sitting on a roof with her best friend in their uniforms, smiling wider than I ever got to see in real life; of my father in a temple in Japan; of me sitting on the floor in a library, reading a book about a little monster who only wanted to be friends with a human girl that I had already read eight times; of my mother standing by what you presume is the Grand Canyon obscured by fog; of all of us together, squinting into the light on a beach, none of us quite ready to be captured for posterity
Grief and pride and comfort and recipes and genes and houses and rumors
A silver spoon in my mouth and a heavy load on my back
And I am grateful for all of it.
It is who I am and I don't even know the half of it yet.
(Rest in peace, Air Vice-Marshal Walter John Herrington. We love you.)