After finding a box of old slides, snapshots of my mother's childhood, I began to know her more. Looking through those old images, I saw her happy memories growing up with my loving grandparents intermingled with a familiar sadness in her. I felt for her. I felt her sadness. It swept over me and all at once it took me under.
As I've come to know my mother in more recent years, she has shared with me that she suffers from severe depression. I was not surprised. When I as younger, I often took her depression personally. It stole her away from me. It stood between us and kept her home from my countless orchestra performances, school plays, and days out in the park.
I asked my mother what it felt like.