My mother died on Wednesday, December 10th after a long illness. I had anticipated her death since May, yet it came as a surprise. I find that extraordinary. I know a little boy, Luca, who will be 3 in July. On the first night of Hanukkah, one of his presents was a little refrigerator with a cake cake inside. The cake was a source of great delight to him. He kept opening the door to the fridge and announcing, "There's a cake inside." He was so thrilled that I was finally forced to ask, "Why is it so funny?" He laughed and said, "Because it's a surprise." I thought a lot about surprises after that. Each time Luca saw the cake, he laughed. and each time I think about my mother's absence, that surprise makes me sad. Even after so many months of knowing her death was imminent, of not hearing her voice and of suspecting that she likely did not even know I was there, I am surprised that she is gone. I am thinking about posting my mother's eulogy on my blog, but it feels so personal. Is that the point of a blog? To expose oneself so fully? I guess. . . it's still a bit of a surprise to me to think about doing something so revealing, so publc.