Your mother is kind, though she would deny it. She would be embarrassed. But she is kind, and against the odds, sweet—and she is filled with that rarest form of compassion, a sympathy for the suffering of others demonstrated only by saints, and the fearless.
Don’t mistake me : Your mother is not fearless. But she is brave. Never doubt it. Your mother cannot walk away. You understand, baby? Your mother, when she sees something wrong, cannot walk away. No matter what. No matter who stands in her path, no matter how much she might want to. Your mother’s heart is relentless.
So let me tell you about your mother, because no one else will, certainly not her. She will never say these things out loud. Not because she doesn’t love you—because she will love you, she does love you, she will fight for you and die for you, and be your friend past death. But she will not tell you about herself—her real self—because she will never believe that there is anything worth telling. Because she does not see herself as I see her. Your mother is too close to her own life, as we all are too close to ourselves, but her burden is unique—and she is blinded by it, and the hard choices she has had to make.
Your mother saved my life. She might tell you that, I suppose. She saved me from being murdered, but that’s a story for another time. What I want to tell you is that she saved me, in more ways than one.