"I was graduated from the finest school, which is that of the love between parent and child. Though the world is constructed to serve glory, success, and strength, one loves one's parents and one's children despite their failings and weaknesses - sometimes even more on account of them. In this school you learn the measure not of power, but of love; not of victory, but of grace; not of triumph, but forgiveness. You learn as well, and sometimes, as I did, you learn early, that love can overcome death, and that what is required of you in this is memory and devotion. Memory and devotion. To keep your love alive you must be willing to be obstinate, and irrational, and true, to fashion your entire life as a construct, a metaphor, a fiction, a device for the exercise of faith. Without this, you will live like a beast and have nothing but an aching heart. With it, your heart, though broken, will be full, and you will stay in the fight unto the very last.
Though my life might have been more interesting and more eventful, and I might have been a better man, after all these years I think I can say that I have kept faith.
All this time, my heart has told me nothing but to love and protect. This message has been strong though the twists and turns, and it has never varied. To protect, and to protect, and to protect. I was born to protect the ones I love. And may God continue to give me ways to protect and serve them, even though they are gone."
-the final lines of Memoir from Antproof Case, by Mark Helprin
To my mom, who thank goodness is not gone, who loves and protects completely and who has the memory of and devotion to her own mother burning in her heart. I love you. Happy Mother's Day.