You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she’d want: smile, open your eyes, love, and go on.
— David Harkins
My parents separated when I was very young and, for reasons that were unknown to us then, my mother left her family behind and completely disappeared for a time.
There were many causes, and not all of them my mother’s doing, but I didn’t see her or even know where she was for more than 15 years. We reconnected when she unexpectedly entered my life again after the birth of my own daughter.