LaVerne thought on this. “So long I cared for her. I brushed her hair, I braided her hair, I made sure she was dressed appropriately for school. I fretted over her. I criticized her when she put on weight, I saw the hurt in her eyes when I did it. I even wrote her an apology for it.”

“You were hard on her, but she will remember it.” LaVerne looked sad here. “I do not mean that she will remember you were harsh, I mean she will remember that you said you were sorry when you were wrong. You were her elder, her matriarch and you showed her it was okay to realize you had made a mistake and to ask for forgiveness. That is a powerful lesson for a girl as stubborn and bullheaded as she is. She will find many times in her life that she will need to ask forgiveness and your example has shown her that it is safe and also right to do so. Without that example she might well stay quiet at many times in her life when she would have spoken up. It will save her heartbreak because you showed her how to be a woman and admit when you were wrong. She will see your faults in herself but it will help her feel closer to you. It will also help her correct those faults so she does not pass them on as you did.” Again LaVerne looked sad as if she had done wrong. “You are not perfect my daughter.” Leta laughed. “You were not supposed to be perfect, so let go of the idea that you were less because you were not always the ideal woman. That is what they were telling you before when it came to your physical self. You have never been less, you have been so hard on yourself, as we all have. But you are a perfect you, there was no one else exactly like you. You will continue to be your perfect you and as you learn to love that perfect you, you will learn to love the mother better as well. That is the main lesson here. Learn to love yourself so you can love the mother better. She made you, she knew what she was doing.”

“You are different now Mother.”

“I have had fifty years of learning while I was waiting for you daughter, I should hope that I am somewhat changed from you I left you. I hope you will find me changed for the better, with some peace and acceptance and perhaps even an occasional sock out of place, although don’t expect much else to be out of place. I have few things, but what I have I love. That lesson of enough is a little bit of paradise to me now.”