Sixteen years ago today, the phone call yanked me out of bed at 1:20 in the morning and took me rushing down the hallway to receive the news that my mother died. Moments before, as I lay waiting for this call, a jolt coursed through my body and I felt numb. Somehow my brother’s call was simply the confirmation. The work of living shifts in that moment. Motherless, facing the world is difficult in a new way. It is the orphaning, the loss of the one who held my life in the center of her love. No more life in the tired body, no smile on her aged face and no more comfort in the smell and sound of her. The last moments of the last days fill the mind and stay fixed there for decades. The Ottawa cold when I left her side is clear today and the long red coat I wore are strangely present, today, in this dying winter. I sent her a pot of spring bulbs two weeks before and arrived in Ontario to find them still in bloom still declaring the springtime to come so soon for Mom. Now, the daffodils and tulips the hyacinth and primrose take me to that room and that good-bye. But hope is what they tell and winter death is done.