The other day I was on my second nine-minute snooze, lying in bed, kind of asleep, kind of awake. Suddenly, I felt really guilty. I thought, girl, you haven’t talked to your mother in a long time. You should give her a call today because she’s probably worried about you and wondering why you haven’t called. I began to say to my husband, “I think I better call my mom today.” I heard myself say the first two words and then reality hit me like a hammer. I sat up in bed, feeling an overwhelming sadness.

I hadn’t called my mom in a long time because she passed from this earth 14 years ago. That one moment of half-awake forgetfulness brought my grief crashing back. It felt as fresh and raw as it did that day in 2005 when I got the call from my sister. Gone was the one person in this world who knew me from the first seconds of my life.