Five years ago, the phone rang and my life was forever altered. It was the first of two utterly transforming phone calls we would get that year, and by far the worse.
Shortly after hanging up, I put in place the temporary home page I’d prepared ahead of time, complete with errors of fact which had grown out of my inability to think clearly about what I knew beyond any doubt was going to happen. The next day, I noticed and corrected the errors, and then realized after a while that my corrections were incorrect and corrected them. Correctly, at last.
When I appended the block of text a day or two later, it was a straight copy-and-paste job, and I was able to avoid introducing errors. I was able to find a perverse solace in that.
To mark this anniversary, I’m publishing the piece I read on stage at Vox Nox 2005, which was the only time it was shared publicly in the last five years. The stunning part, even to me, is that every bit of that piece is the raw, unedited, unaltered truth.
In some ways, I still can’t believe that it’s been five years and that she’s really forever gone, that she’s missed everything that’s happened in my life. In some ways, I can’t accept that she will never know her granddaughter, and that her granddaughter will never know her. And in little ways, I do my best to bridge that yawning chasm with myself and what I learned, what I was taught, over all the years of my life… minus just a bit less than five.
Five years. Five very busy years. Five awful, wonderful, stressful, liberating, irreplaceable years.
I miss you, Mom.