Mothers. (For Salome)

When she told me that your mother had died, I felt the whip crack against my soul and I saw you scream and drop the phone. Never before have these miles between our mothers and us been felt more keenly than today at 1455 . . . or two fifty five. My coworkers saw my face drop as she told me of how she had told you ten minutes earlier and I knew your heart had died. Your loss is our loss, strange as it may seem, because your mother is all of our mothers.

Hidden in a forgotten continent, remembered only in our dreams and our slang, connected by 23 minute five-dollar phone cards and hasty text messages shortened and abbreviated to push our messages through, are our mothers. They watched over us when we wore our primary school uniforms and waved goodbye at the gates of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport when we donned the uniform of eighteen-year-old freshmen leaping into university life abroad. Their tears coated our subsequent phone calls, and forced us to be more grown up than we ever thought we would wish to be.

I wish the miles between us could swallow up the pain of your loss but you have to bear the cross alone in Dallas, TX as we scramble to congregate around you; sisterhood from Worcester, Ma and Long Beach, CA and Boston, MA and London, England. My heart breaks as your tears are falling. Your mourning is felt all around, and we are striving to hold you up.

Mothers are mothers are Mothers.
This Goodbye is no longer just a Goodbye.

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