(1) I know she was born on January 19, 1923, and she will die in the Fall of 2008, at eighty-
five years old.
(2) I know she was originally from New Jersey, maybe near Teaneck.
(3) I know there was a black and white photograph taken of her naked on a leopard-skin
rug in which she looks like a normal baby.
(4) I know she left New Jersey, alone, when she was quite young.
(5) I know she was taken in by someone named Red, a woman, out in Portland, Oregon.
Red had a son named Stan. Their last name was Amy. My mother, at some point, made
this last name her first name, and she would come to call Stan her brother.
(6) I know she was married to someone named James before she met my dad. James and
she were divorced, but not before they had a son, Randy. Randy lived with her after the
divorce but ran away. It was an acrimonious parting and there has never been a
(7) I know she moved to Houston and worked at Sunnyland Furniture until she met my
dad. They were married in 1963. She then worked part-time as an interior designer.
(8) I know she and my dad adopted me, privately, soon after my birth in September 1967.
I am an only child. She had a live-in governess take care of me during the first five, or
so, years of my life.
(9) I know she and my dad have had a visibly rocky marriage, but for my sake, they have
said, they stayed together.
(10) I know her motto concerning my professional development was: “Doctor, Lawyer, or
(11) I know she began having health problems in 1986, my first semester at college.
(12) I know she persevered through twenty-two years of health-related traumas and will
finally succumb to terminal brain disease sometime in the next few days.
(13) I know she was happy that I got married and finally had a child.
(14) I know she likes mussels and squab.