Who will never read this, but who is still very much alive.
  1. Her name is Barbara Sue.
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  2. She has a twin brother.
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  3. I think she is so beautiful.
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  4. What would I have done with all that jet-black hair?
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  5. Probably gotten into trouble. Maybe even arrested.
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  6. My mom would have paid my bail, though. I know because she's always offering me her credit card number and saying "I don't even care just order the damn thing and get it done, cross it off your list, then get up here so we can have fun!"
  7. Sometimes I say yes, and sometimes I just pretend to say yes, so she won't worry about us.
  8. When I think of my mom, I think of my grandmother, who I never got to meet. My grandmother's name was Winnie and everyone who knew her says she was an absolute delight.
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  9. Some of my earliest memories are watching my mom cry from missing her.
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  10. I remember once, while the two of us were on a drive, making a right turn at the corner of State Route 161 and where the old bank used to be, hearing my mom gasp out loud because at that very moment she realized she could no longer remember what her mother's voice sounded like.
  11. I never wanted that to happen to me. But I always knew it would. Someday. That I would cry from a loss I would never get over. That the sound of her voice would disappear from my memory.
  12. I suppose that's why I love so fiercely. Like a sponge, soaking all of her in. And why I named my daughter Winnie.
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  13. Things about my mom that I remember the most: smells amazing, cries every MLK Day, writes poems, has worn the same sweatsuit my entire life, takes in lots of strays (people), has crazy eyebrows, really wants to know you, can get a little too intense during Bananagrams, is not the best at apologizing,
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    wouldn't let me sell candy bars like all the other kids at school because she was several years into a personal boycott against Nestle's aggressive marketing of breast milk substitutes to less economically developed countries. 🔥
  14. Also, in this picture, she is sort of pulling her cheeks back to see what she would look like with a facelift.
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  15. Oh, Mom.
  16. I love you.