“If you want to feel like you’re with us,” I told my older daughter, “just watch the opening credits of ‘The Sopranos.’ It’ll be exactly like that.” My aunt died last week. My godmother. She had moved to Florida when she retired and I hadn’t seen her in years, but we’d kept in touch via email until the Alzheimer’s took hold. When her daughter-in-law emailed me a few days ago to break the news, I was saddened but not surprised. I was also suddenly confronted with a challenge I hadn’t faced in a very long time: how to come back to New Jersey.My father left before I was born. I can count on one hand the number of times in my life I’ve seen him and still have fingers to spare. In contrast, my estrangement from my mother has been a slower, subtler affair. A classic Irish fade. It came in stages. First she stopped visiting. Then she stopped calling and answering the phone. Finally she stopped sending Christmas and birthday cards. The last time I heard her voice was 2016. The last time my younger daughter, who’s 15, saw her was eight years ago. I’ve spent a good portion… Read full this story
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