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“Once my grandmother asked me why I wouldn’t speak to my mother on the phone. I didn’t answer. I only asked if my mother would come back if I were sick and dying in a hospital. ‘She would if she could,’ my grandmother responded. I wasn’t happy with the answer, but it was not unexpected: It was a familiar feeling of dismissal.”

As we head into Mother’s Day territory, often treacherous terrain, this lamentation about the loss of an absent journalist mother, who was the first woman bureau chief for the Associated Press to die while on assignment and who died in Afghanistan in 1993, is beautifully discussed in The Washington Post by Tracee Herbaugh—a daughter who became both a journalist and a mother herself.

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