She held my hand and wept and apologized for time that she couldn’t get back and time that she didn’t have. She was dying and I could only offer peace, in the form of lies. I reassured her that the house was clean and just the way I remembered it, from sixteen years ago. When she apologized for her son, I told her that I admired my biological father’s adventitious spirit, from the stories I’ve heard and his letters, to other people, that I’ve read, and that I grew up okay, before and after his death; I told her that she did a good job and how I always understood that she was just busy. I told her that my half-sister was on the mend, that she was living a good life, free from drugs, and that my half brother was a saint. As I gave her the medicine that took the edge off of her pain but caused a loss of precious time, she cried for work left unfinished, until she forgot that she was dying. I held her hand and massaged the fluid away from the joints of her swelling arms and pretended not to notice the hair that had fallen out in clumps around her head. She talked about how we would all spend time together and she would meet all of my kids… I looked into her big brown eyes, a reflection of my own, and told her about how nice that would be.