My mother Suzanne died a few days before school started in 1965. She was 42 years young with five children and a great husband, my father. September 3, 1965 changed all of our lives forever. The imprint of this loss has never left any of us, and runs deep on a cellular plane. Sometimes, it rises to the surface and I suddenly wonder how everything might have been different if she had lived. Would we have met for cocktails, visited museums, and laughed together? Would she have approved of our boyfriends and choice of colleges? I’ve naturally identified with people who have lost a mother for most of my life. I was Buffy in Family Affair, Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird, a von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Susan Minot in her book Monkeys, and even David Egger’s in his book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Egger’s book made me stop and realize that I too, swept up my little brother and vowed that we would stand tall and be great, and charge forward with life. But now we ask, can we stop and slow down? Even just a bit? We are not running but we are holding on. The last of our mother’s friends are soon at death’s door - our final tightening grasp on to the world when she was in it. Then we remember. We are real. We are here. We are strong. We are happy. We are whole. We are great. We let go… for just a moment, but then the late August light begins to fade into September as evenings become brisk, and our spirits go back again to our last September day with her. And, we are sad.