IT’S NOT EASY to have a conversation with someone you have hurt. Especially when it’s your mother. Especially when you have to invent her side of the conversation because your mother is dead.
The brief history: In 1978, at the age of 38, while a graduate student at Harvard, my mother suffered an aneurysm. A blood vessel ruptured in her brain, spilling a wide swath of damage. She survived, but it crippled her: left-side paralysis, her mind as jumbled as a pile of Legos. After a few months at Mass. General, she returned home to New Hampshire. With an adult family friend, my brother and sister and I helped take care of her. I was 12. I grew up fast.