I sit at the lake and watch my birthday card burn. The part with the message is already gone. No way to know what grandma and my mother wrote me. My gut aches with guilt and sentiment, but I am consciously too cruel to acknowledge it. I sent them away months ago and now I must be firm. I need to learn to live without their support. Totally.
Some time later, I get a letter from my mother. I hesitate to read it, but curiosity gets the best of me.