Often when I think of my mother, I think of a summer day many years ago.
I was driving from home to the next city over, just 11 miles away. I was still living with my parents, and I must have needed to take my car in to a mechanic, or perhaps my mother needed to, because she drove her car behind mine. We were caravanning, which meant staying aware of where the other was, not letting cars between us, making sure we kept at the same speed.
The goal, as always: to not lose each other, to stay close.
But that isn’t the part I remember best. It is this: the moment that I took an exit off route 68 and rolled to a stop at the end of the exit ramp. The light was red, so my mother, too, stopped behind me, and we waited. I looked in my rearview mirror, and I can only imagine now that she must have been paying close attention to me—just as she always had throughout my life—because when I looked at her through that rearview mirror, it was as if she had been waiting for that moment all along.
My mother (my dear, darling mother) smiled at me, and she waved.