Albuquerque, New Mexico

We lit the candle on our mantelpiece to bless our decision. It was the unity candle from our wedding, the one the rabbi’s moon-faced daughter had made for us out of blue beeswax while we planned the ceremony with her mother.

As we lit the candle we spoke these words: “We are going to move to Albuquerque.” This small ritual was meant to help seal the pact between us, once and for all. The decision had been very difficult.

I looked at the photograph, propped up on the mantel, of my mom, who had died three years earlier of lung cancer. I studied her face, hoping to find some approval for our choice, but there was only her pensive half-smile. In the photo she’s a very young woman, still beautiful, unmarred. Tell me what to do, I asked silently.

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