It’s been hard to sleep of late. For many days, I slept with the sound of Mom’s breath in my ear; her slightest pause or moan would wake me. Then, the other night when a friend and I slept in the same room, her breath made me think I was still listening to Mom. I woke startled to be without her.

A couple of nights ago I woke every hour or so and couldn’t find out where I was. I kept trying to get out of bed by climbing through the back of the couch on which I slept. The next night, I thought the door was in the wrong place; instead, I was facing the wrong way.

Last night, my first in a bed in almost three weeks, I slept hard for several hours and then woke to know something was wrong. No one was there. I must have been dreaming that people were still with us.

My sleep is troubled because, I suppose, I know that life is not as it should be. Something is wrong; someone is missing.

But I will take all these troubled nights if they keep me from the moment I really awake, know where I am, and know who I am without. I’d take a lifetime of sleepless nights just to wake up and hear her say to the cat, “Shh, Betty. Andi’s trying to sleep.”