There’s a framed photo in my grandma’s house. It’s small and could fit in the palm of my hand. I’m a baby, and Mom is holding me up to her face to kiss sweetly in the cheek. My mom is beautiful.

There’s a photo my mom has, like the kind that can hang in a hallway. Her senior year of high school. She looks far older. Her hair is long and to her waist. Her smile is for the camera.

There is a moment. I can picture the place in the road when we talked, as she drove, as if a frozen picture taken. There is a moment where your mom is loved, and a stranger. And she tells you, “Don’t walk down that aisle unless you are sure.” The high school photo is not quite the same. Sometimes you stare and stare at that photo, trying to understand a stranger.

Nineteen. A year to have your world dissolved. Walls. I’m good at walls. I’m better at loving; but I’m good at walls.

There is a moment where you’re home on break from university, and your mom is worried for you; that you’ll go do “stuff,” or something. And you want to ask, “Am I a stranger?”

There are a million fractured moments you chose your own way and widened the rift. You walked around London by yourself. You took forested trails. You kayaked miles upon miles upon miles. You didn’t take her advice. You felt like the parent. You walked away when she cried, and didn’t finish conversations. You didn’t make her happy. And sometimes, just sometimes, you wonder if you were more loveable as a little child.

That is why you chronicle your world and keep no secrets. That is why you tell hard stories. That is why you hate that verse talking about forgetting the past.

That is why.