I used to be the type of person that people were proud of. I can’t remember the exact moment it changed, but I’m pretty sure it was around the time my father died. I never cried, not once. To be honest I never felt anything at all. It wasn’t that I didn’t love him, or that he wasn’t a good parent, I just couldn’t feel. I wanted to, desperately, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t until years later, when I met her, that his memory even crossed my mind. It was something my mother said to me, just before he passed. In his hospital room there was an almost calming whirr coming from the various machines and tubes twisting around his appendages like strangle vines around tall oak branches. He was such a strong man and I can remember thinking how even on his deathbed he was ten times the man I would ever be. They told us that he would not make it through the night. Mom wanted to be with him until the last second so we stayed. Looking back I think I stayed more for her than for him. She cried and cried and after what seemed like an eternity, she stopped. Just like that she stood up, turned from the bed, and walked to me. Then something very strange happened. She turned her eyes to mine and looked at me, her son, for what felt like the first time. She was searching for something I would never know if I held. I sometimes wonder if she found it. She lowered her gaze and picked up her purse. "Do you believe in destiny?" she said, her voice so calm it seemed foreign to me. I looked at my father, and then at her. "No." I said, and she smiled softly as if she knew something I didn’t. She kissed me on the forehead and went to the door, "Goodbye Andrew." And she was gone. That was the last time I ever saw my mother. A few minutes later my father went into cardiac arrest. At the funeral I made excuses for her when people asked. I guess I felt like I owed her that.
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