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  • We get into a horrible fight. My mother is screaming at me, and I scream back while driving on a freeway. We both have hardened faces. I look over at my mother, handicapped with her paralyzed arm, aphasia, immobility. After the stroke, things were never the same again for her or for our family.

    Then, I'm struck at how short our time is together. I grab her hand while I'm driving, tell her I'm sorry, but that she needs to change, she can't be like this. She doesn't say anything and continues staring out the window, angry marbles at the tip of her eyebrows.

    That evening, there's a cup on my desk with pink roses and a pink peony bud from the garden outside. I go downstairs and tell her thanks. She says in Korean, "it's my way of saying sorry," with a smile, and waves her left hand.
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