In the months after my mom died, an urge mushroomed inside me. I needed to go back to the begining, to where my ancestors last stood on their land, before the Maafa, the Great Disaster, otherwise known as the Middle Passage. That urge took me to Elmina Castle in Ghana, and forever marred the term castle.
My 85 year old mother, a widow, lived alone in Atlanta, her birth town turned mega city. Increasingly, with every visit I made, the dining and kitchen tables, the floor under the kitchen table and the counters were being swallowed in stacks of paper and folded plastic. I didn't know then, but these were signs of dementia. A reader of the essay, a doctor, wrote in to the NY Times to say this. He was right.