Sara sat close enough to her mother to wriggle her little hand under her mother's thigh and let it rest reassuringly - pressing her body against her mother felt safe; it allowed Sara to monitor every breath her mother took, thinking this was the way to guage her Mom's unreadable silence - long, even breaths were good; but Sara would look up anxiously if she felt her mother's body quiver or inhale unevenly when a mourner would pass, hold her hands and whisper words of condolence in her mother's ear. Sara was furious if a person made a tear roll down her Mother's cheek, and she'd stare hatefully at anyone who reminded her Mother of her sadness. Sara appointed herself the one to keep her Mother unharmed. She dutifully watched her mother's still face and dry eyes fixed on a memory that Sara never learned to read. In this way, she cared for her remaining parent for forty years, desperately anticipating a tragedy, a constant barometer of impending doom. When it was time for her Mother to die, Sara gladly relinquished her self-imposed burden to the earth, leaving her only with angry memories of a Mother who never demanded a thing.
caccy46, author of A Child's Words of Wisdom, is 60 years old, a mother of two, and has been married for 32 years.