"No longer in the phone book," my mother complains, and I have trouble deciphering what she means. Her name was in "dark, dark print," she adds, in a tone of exaggerated significance. People are talking in her room, and "something is going on," she says, but she doesn't know what it is. My father's x-rays have been stolen. My father has been stolen. Her identity is dark, dark, and has been erased with his death. "Erased." Their telephone is off the hook, their names no longer in the book.
Best American Essays 2013
Cheryl Strayed, editor