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July 5, 2023

I spend several hours sitting alone at the café, lost in my own thoughts.

The object in my hand is just a thin, long strip of graph paper with a squiggly line describing peaks and valleys at regular intervals. There’s not even a date on it, just her name and what I assume was her file number, but it still manages to dislodge too many hidden memories and feelings. I take another sip from the now cold coffee while my finger gently follows the trajectory of a long-gone heartbeat.

Do I miss her? I’m not sure if it’s cruel or simply sad of me to admit I really don’t know. We were never close, especially in her later years. But there are some bonds which just can’t be ignored.

It’s getting late and most of the other patrons are gone. I carefully fold the piece of yellowed paper and put it back in my pocket. As I walk out into the gentle rain, I can’t help but smile and shed a tear at the same time.

I have suddenly realized that, for the first time since I was a small child, this is the closest I have been to my mother’s heart.

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