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Remember this moment of sitting and connecting with women I barely know, and yet, baring all in a way, at least as we effort to do so through writing; exposing; excavating; exploring..

Remember this moment of being with my family, the myriad personalities connecting, colliding and coexisting, a melting pot of those whose lives intersect with mine; whose belonging converges into mine; whose tragedies mirror mine and whose love is indistinguishable from my own.

Remember this moment too, of gut-wrenching doubt; is what I write of value at all? What is the purpose of it all? The strangeness of making meaning; of figuring out how the strands of one’s life intersect; external and internal, fit together to form a fabric than one can touch and understand.

Is that meaning enough?

Is the lens widening?

Is confidence revealed by baring it all?

Remember the weekend I shared with my grandparents in the Bronx, the sounds of children running around in the wide open streets amidst all the brick apartment buildings; playing without needing any more than a ball or a stick or a piece of chalk; lives visible, tears, laughter in a familiar place.

Remembering going into the apartment they had lived in for decades, the smells of cooked onions and cigarette smoke greeting us as we walked through the huge wooden doors, opening into a vestibule with startling acoustics, beckoning a child to call out Hello and have it repeated back, Hello…

Feeling welcomed into the completely unremarkable apartment, dull, mismatched sofa and chairs, formica table and creaking chairs, the only bit of unique decor being the pictures of the generation above them, which binds us to this small space holding centuries of experiences.

A space where I would sit with my grandpa for one of the last times before he died (three years before the age I am now) and feel his already bony arms and listen to his gruff loving voice reading poetry to me.

Remember being tucked in by my soft, round, angelic grandma, whose scent of lily of the valley helps me settle into the uncomfortable bed with the sounds of the city still blasting, not matter the hour;

Remember feeling safe in our own little cocoon.

Remember that same feeling when holding each of my children for the very first time.

Remember, I tell myself often.

Remember the moments; the love that binds me to you.

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