Their story ends at the point where the woman sobs uncontrollably at the airport while being held by her mother. I want to tell them she is not her mother. I want to tell them how their story will never carry the weight of this loss. I want to tell them how this loss will continue to live for as long as her life goes on. The loss will be in the next family picture they take and the first time she explains to her daughter what happened to Rex. For the rest of her life, she will have to split herself into two parents and complete conversations with his ghost, telling her daughter how he would have been proud of her.

1 My father is an enigma. Growing up, the little I learned about him I gleaned from listening to snippets of conversations between my siblings. Even now, after all these years, he is still a […]

That Saturday, we did not enter the market complex but waded through the makeshift stalls in the compound looking for the most compelling displays. When we settled on a shop—after being tugged and pulled and snatching our hands back from sellers who wanted to make a sale—we sat on a wooden bench inside and the young man began to show us his stock. A few minutes later, our eyes started to water. In a blink, we were coughing and tearing up and the shop had become cloudy. We exited quickly. Minutes later, news started to filter in that a trader from whom we refused to buy released some sort of gas into the shop to stop our purchase. I am still shaken by this memory.

1 I take my coffee black, no sugar, with a few ice cubes and a squeeze of lemon. That wasn’t always the case. I used to like it how my grandma does—warm with too much […]