At fifteen, I tape recorded an interview with my mother and took notes as well. I lost track of the cassette, but the handwritten notes were tucked in my grandmother’s journal. There I found my mother’s account of her kindergarten graduation.Everybody’s mother would come and bring a bough of roses….we lined up for assembly and my mother wasn’t there. And there were no roses…It came so close and there were no roses…and it was just as if there was no mother. Somehow they were so symbolic—no mother, no roses, and someone had to fill in…they handed me someone else’s roses. And when I went out it was okay because I looked out in the audience and there was my mother. So I knew it wasn’t the same—no mother, no roses—because Mother was there in the audience. But I guess sometimes when you are little, a few minutes can be a long time. And you suffer. It is 1935. I am not yet born but I am traveling back rounding the corner with an armful of roses arriving on time for your kindergarten graduation bearing a bouquet elegant and fragrant as the mothers themselves. I am running breathless down the sidewalk weaving in and out. Wait! I holler my voice too small to persuade the latch on the gate. It is 2008 and like your mother I am late but you are not waiting for roses anymore. You’re waiting for me to save myself— to gather handfuls of velvety petals strewn from the tumult of my life—to lift them one by one into a potpourri. You round the corner to the scent of roses, the fragrance of your daughter—redeemed. It is 2014. You call me worried that I am sad. Much as I want to name the cause I can’t find it—not at first—no, not until I think of standing in the apartment you share with my sister: the photos of us on your wall a testament I will place in a box when you are gone. We have come so far: you—the mother who always arrived early, flowers in hand and I—now fifty-five, fingering petals pressed and dusted as butterfly wings— to whom, to whom when I pack that box with my palm full of roses will I belong?