In one of my earliest memories of my mother, I lay with my head on her lap. It is a child’s memory, distorted by time, but I think she is singing me a lullaby. Gazing into the glowing stars and galaxies that adorn the walls of my room, I know of all that could be. This memory was precious to me growing up, as my relationship with my mother was strained. Her fits of rage would plummet the house into disarray. She would leave, and we wouldn’t see her for days. Once, she didn’t come back for three and a half years. This made a boy of ten question if he was good enough. I told my friends she was away, working in another city, because that was what I wanted to believe. She was my mother. I could never give up on her.
It was 8:15 in the morning. The sky was a pale shade of blue that occurs only before a shower. The smell of wet earth that accompanies rain was in the air but on this day the clouds seemed reluctant to shed their weight anytime soon. So the weather stayed just perfect. I started down a cobbled stone path descending towards the perfectly white building at the end. The path was blanketed with moss and dew which seemed too beautiful and slick to be safe. In the end the moss gave way to mud which seemed an odd little thing in front of the perfectly white building. Inside were what seemed like endless shelves of reinforced steel doors 3 feet by 3 feet in size. The steel cold doors seemed to guard their secrets intently as we walked down the aisle to drawer number 16, which housed the body of the person I used to call ‘mother’.