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“Love, Your Only Mother” by David Michael Kaplan

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The short story “Love, Your Only Mother” by David Michael Kaplan is about a woman who is seemingly writing to her mother who had abandoned her and her father when she was a little girl. This story represents the relationship between a mother and her daughter and that maintaining it is important no matter what other problems in the individual’s life may occur. The woman is writing directly to her mother, she is explaining all of her emotions that had happened throughout her life.

The woman is unable to let go of the fact that her mother is not coming back and because of this, she becomes addicted to that idea and the postcards as well. She seems very angry with her mother because she does not seem to invest as much time as she does into the postcards. “I’ve been faithful, too, you see. I’ve always looked up where you were in the atlas, and put your postcards in the box. Sixty-three postcards, four hundred-odd lines of scrawl: our life together.” She believes that all of these postcards represent their life and all of the things that they have shared together in their relationship. She glazes over the fact that her mother will not re-enter her life and uses the postcards as a way to explain their lost relationship. “Then I pull out the same atlas I’ve had since I was a child…and yes, there you are, between Dickinson and Killdeer, a blip on the red highway line.” The woman accepts this as a good enough explanation for the whereabouts of her mother.

It is clear that the woman faces conflicting emotions throughout the story. “The postcard was Nebraska, and there’s no Ferndale in Nebraska. In the card before that, you said you were making me a birthday cake that you’d send. Even though I vowed I’d never do it again, I try to understand what you are telling me.” She is clearly angry at her mother for lying to her through the postcards and does not seem to understand why she would lie about where she is at that moment. The woman is also unable to let go of all the postcards that her mother has given her. She keeps all of them inside a box and is not able to throw any of them away because she has so much love for her mother. “Several times I decided you were dead, even wished you were dead, but then another postcard would come, with another message to ponder.” She will not get rid of any of the postcards because she would always be interested in what her mother had to say to her and she has an interest in whether or not her mother may come back into her life; something she desperately strives for.

“Love, Your Only Mother” by David Michael Kaplan is a short story about a woman and her addiction to the postcards that her mother sends her as a way to maintain their almost non-existent relationship. She blames her mother for leaving her father and her at such a young age and as a result, she has become someone who is similar to her mother; she ignores her own daughter and husband and focuses a lot of her time on her absent mother, becoming one as well.

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