"It can't be done" was shown to be wrong.
I was taking a shower in a hotel room in Sydney the moment she died, 600 miles away, in Melbourne.
I looked through the shower screen and saw her standing on the other side.
I knew she had come to say goodbye. My mother phoned minutes later.
A few days later, we went to a Buddhist temple in Footscray and sat around her casket.
We told her stories and assured her that we were still with her. At midnight, the monk came and told us he had to close the casket.
My mother asked us to feel her hand. She asked the monk, "Why is it that her hand is so warm and the rest of her is so cold?"
"Because you have been holding it since this morning," he said. "You have not let it go."
If there is a sinew in our family, it runs through the women.
Given who we were and how life had shaped us, we can now see that the men that might have come into our lives would have thwarted us.
Defeat would have come too easily. Now I would like to have my own children, and I wonder about the boat.
Who could ever wish it on their own? Yet I am afraid of privilege, of ease, of entitlement.
Can I give them a bow in their lives, dipping bravely into each wave, the unperturbed and steady beat of the engine, the vast horizon that guarantees nothing?
I don't know. But if I could give it and still see them safely through, I would.