It hadn’t occurred to me that my mother would die. Until she was dying, the thought had never entered my mind. She was monolithic and insurmountable, the keeper of my life. She would grow old and still work in the garden. This image was fixed in my mind, like one of the memories from her childhood that I’d made her explain so intricately that I remembered it as if it were mine. She would be old and beautiful like the black-and-white photo of Georgia O’Keeffe I’d once sent her. I held fast to this image for the first couple of weeks after we left the Mayo Clinic, and then, once she was admitted to the hospice wing of the hospital in Duluth, that image unfurled, gave way to others, more modest and true.
–Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
But when Ma looks at me she doesn’t see a human whippet—five-three me with scruffy dark hair and a chest as big as a keg, with a wasp waist and the legs like an Olympic sprinter. And the fangs, don’t forget the fangs. Mongoose fangs, which was what got me my nickname—Rikki. My real name is Miranda. Nobody calls me that except the teachers at school. Rikki or Miranda, Ma just sees me as her little princess, her miracle joker baby.
–The Thing about Growing Up in Jokertown (A Tor.com Original) by Carrie Vaughn
Sarah visited the boys every day, and although at first she was worried about them being out on their own in the Forest, she was impressed by the network of igloos they built and noticed that some of the younger Wendron Witches had taken to dropping by with small offerings of food and drink. Soon it became rare for Sarah to find her boys without at least two or three young witches helping them cook a meal or just sitting around the campfire laughing and telling jokes. It surprised Sarah just how much fending for themselves had changed the boys—they all suddenly seemed so grown up, even the youngest, Jo-Jo, who was still only thirteen. After a while Sarah began to feel a bit of an interloper in their camp, but she persisted in visiting them every day, partly to keep an eye on them and partly because she had developed quite a taste for roast squirrel.
“I have never had parents who set good examples, parents whose expectations were worth living up to, but she did. I can see them within her, the courage and the beauty they pressed into her like a handprint.“