I had a friend who once told me his mother used to stand in the middle of their dead-end street, yelling at cars driving by too fast near her home, her nest of four children.  I pictured her in an apron, shaking a wooden spoon at the cars, perpetually young.  Because she never grew older than that – she died when my friend was too young to do without a mother.

In my darkest moments, when no one can see inside me in the murky mess,  I imagine her feelings, her ache to know she was leaving behind those four little ones.  I consider my friend, and the strange hole he has in his life that might be worse than a bad mother after all.   And I think, even I – in my weakness, my sefishness, my doubts about my abilities – even I must be better than no mother at all.


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