Maybe this is as good a place to start as any: 7 a.m. at the Portland airport,
a donut topped with maple frosting. It’s not breakfast, exactly, but the sweetness
hits my mouth like a wake-up call. Yesterday, I watched my brother leave for his first
night in rehab. We had come to his house for one final plea. The mess
of his room was an apt enough metaphor, but instead I want to tell you
about the clutch of his fingers against my back just before he set to packing.
The strength of those hands, gripping. Like something coming alive again. I knew
it might not last, but it was there, pressing at my skin. Despair cracking
open with the slimmest light. Hope can break though anything, even loss.
I could see its faint blinking in that room. That unmistakable whisper of a yes.