Mom had already signed me up to be a candy striper by the time she and O’Toole picked me up at Robinson Memorial.
“You need to think about those less fortunate,” she said, as I scratched at the stitches on my wrists. “You need to think of someone other than yourself.”
I knew that what she actually meant was that I needed to think about her. She didn’t know just how much I thought of her, her nightly calls during my depression in which she presented theory after theory regarding what was “wrong” with me. When I wasn’t studying, all I thought about was other people: people I’d let down, people who were sure I could do better, people who wanted me to dress, speak and act differently, my ex who wanted me to drop out of college six months before graduation so we could buy a house for a family we wouldn’t end up having.