I didn't realize my mother was a person until I was 13 years old and she pulled me out of bed and put me in the back of her car, and we left home and my dad with no explanations. I thought that Ma was all that she was and all she had ever wanted to be. I was wrong.
As we made our way from Virginia to California, returning to the places where she'd lived as a kid in foster care and as a teenager on the run, repaying debts and keeping promises, I learned who she was in her life-before-me and the secrets she had kept - even from herself. But when life on the road began to feel normal, I couldn't forget the home we'd left behind, couldn't deny that, just like my mother, I, too, had unfinished business.
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