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  • Today, I am sewing something white.

    This is not the first white thing I've sewn. Over the course of her life, I've made four different white dresses for my daughter. This is her high school graduation dress.

    I am crouching on the floor cutting the slippery satin when I remember that 35 years ago I sewed something else that was white. I sit up straight, scissors in hand: how could I have forgotten? It was a pair of white flannel pajamas. I was working on my sewing badge for Girl Scouts. I was 12.

    I was pinning the papery pattern onto the flannel at a table in the basement of a neighbor's house when I heard the sirens. Or maybe I didn't, maybe I inserted them after the fact, like an artist adding more trees to balance the painting.

    I've had a lifetime to process my mother's car accident. She didn't die, but a part of her went away. She was never the same.

    Recently one of my sisters reminded me about the quizzes she had to give my mother to help her brain get better, when she was recovering on the pull-out sofa in the living room because she couldn't manage the stairs. One of the questions she had to ask was what day of the week it was. My mother responded confidently, "1, 2, 5, chocolate!" We laughed. How absurd. How sad. How funny. How hard.

    My mother won't be coming to my daughter's graduation. She died five years ago from a lingering head injury related to the accident.

    So Mother's Day. It has become a time for women to take a position and hold fast. The boycotters (all women should be appreciated not just mothers!) face off the supporters (what's so difficult about showing gratitude?). I don't really care about either side; I'm passionless about both points. It's just a big whatever. It's just a day.

    Still, there is my mother and my daughter. Sewing in white. Putting the pieces together as best I can. Making dresses. Finding words. There is love. That is all.
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