1. I'm twenty-two but still live with my mother who got divorced from my father when I was three or four.
  2. Though my father has provided us with the money we have needed to stay afloat, she basically raised us alone.
  3. I adore my father but we're not super close. We have very different views on almost everything, we mostly just watch reality TV and tiptoe around politics when we are together.
  4. We moved around a lot when I was kid. No place was permanent. So, instead of a place, when I think of home, I think of my mother.
  5. I think of her soft, tattered dressing gown, of her Crabtree & Evelyn perfume, of waking to find her shuffling around the kitchen feeding pets.
  6. I think of holding her hand when I cross the road, something I have never grown out of.
  7. Due to circumstances (mostly) out of our control, I don't get to live with my mother anymore.
  8. And while I am so, so grateful that my father is taking me in and I'll still see my mother regularly, I feel like I'm letting go of a lifeline.
  9. I am meant to have grown up by now but in no way have I grown apart from needing my mother, from her hugs being the only capable of quieting my racing heart and racing mind.
  10. I have not grown apart from the special kick of joy I receive every time she comes through the door and fills the house with her busy warmth.
  11. I think maybe if I were in a better place, mentally, I would be coping in a more mature, dignified way.
  12. But right now I want to cry, want to yell at how unfair it is that money is what is keeping us apart, and so little money, too.
  13. I know I am blessed to have my mother alive, that she'll only be a phone call away, that her hugs will wait.
  14. But I am also haunted by the fact things will never be the same again.
  15. I am moving, but not so sure I am ready to move on.