01 July 2009


When we were applying for Sandra's birth certificate, a document she needed to obtain housing, she was pretty sensitive when I was asking her for information about her mother and father to put on the birth certificate application. She had never met her mother, she told me, and she didn't really like thinking about her because she didn't know how to think about her. She didn't know what she was like, or if they looked similar, or if they had a voice that sounded the same, or anything. She didn't know how to think about her, so she didn't think about her.

A month later, Sandra's birth certificate came to us in the mail. She had never seen it before, so after signing it out, she looked at it very closely. Suddenly, torrents of tears started streaming down her face. Unable to speak, she pointed at her signiture on the sign-out sheet for the document, and then pointed at her mother's signiture on her birth record. They made their S's exactly the same.

After that point, Sandra fantasized about her mother, speculating that they probably had exactly everything in common. With this one hint, Sandra now felt that she knew how to think about her mother, and somehow, just because of her handwriting, she forgave her.

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