For three days, I stayed in my apartment and refused to answer the phone. I hated everyone and everything, and I felt sure that this bitterness would be with me forever. I didn’t want to see friends or talk to my family. I had to return to work, though, so I focused all of my energy on the kids. As the school year began to wind down, I realized I couldn’t stay in New York any longer—it just wasn’t the same. I wasn’t the same. My whole existence had been turned on end. I needed to start over, but I didn’t have the energy to tackle somewhere new so I decided to go home. I called my mom, and my embarrassment at having another messed-up relationship was quickly negated by her warm and practical approval. My emotions had been raging out of control, and some time with my levelheaded mother was just what I needed. As I drove past the familiar fronts of Smith’s Hardware Store and McBride’s farm stand, my anxiety gave way to exhaustion, and then I felt an intense longing to be in the comfort of home. I was mentally and physically drained when I pulled into the driveway of my mother’s house, but when she ran out to greet me, the pain returned.

“What am I going to do?” I asked through my tears.

My mother released me from her protective grasp, looked me square in the eye and calmly said, “You, my dear, are going to get on with your life.”