Today my mother would have turned ninety-nine, had she chosen to live. There would have been, of course, a celebration. Speeches, accolades, extravagant bouquets, bottles of Moët & Chandon. But my mother did not want to celebrate her ninety-ninth birthday, nor her hundredth. She was ready, at ninety-eight, to transform herself into something entirely novel: a bunch of elementary particles, scattered around the universe, fertilizing new growth–the invisible as well as the visible sort–her trajectory intersecting with mine at the oddest moments. Forever present in my heart, she is a witness to my various pursuits. How can I be mad at her for making me talk to particles? At least we’re talking!
Yes, at times, I long to tell her something, to hear her laugh, to see her smile, to touch her. But that I cannot have. So I’m content to talk to her particles.