It's been almost half a year since my mother passed away, and I just now realized something. The only person who read everything I had ever written -- from grade school scribblings to high school essays to published stories to my first book to my columns for the Bulletin and the Star and articles for Esquire -- is gone. I will never get a text from her again telling me that she enjoyed a particular Friday's column, or my latest short story. My best reader (and, quite frankly, the most knowledgeable, exacting editor I ever knew) is no longer a phone call or a car ride away.Of course that loss is little compared to the loss of the woman who birthed me and raised me and loved me. But it is all part of one great loss.
The one reader who matters the most to me is gone. I'm kind of surprised that the belated realization hasn't destroyed any notion I have of writing another story, much less another book. Perhaps that point of despair will come later, when it really sinks in. (Does it ever really sink in? Or is it just reminders out of the blue, just quick and lingering stabs, until it's my turn to go?) Or, perhaps, deep down I really must believe in some sort of afterlife, because I still feel that my continuing to write to the best of my abilities will in some way reach her, and, once again, make her proud.