Mom was a makeshift optometrist. She made a few extra bucks working in the basement, keeping the neighborhood in glasses. She had an old phoropter she got at auction, cardboard boxes of used glasses bought in black market bulk. For awhile, she dabbled in home dentistry, but that involved too much screaming—it scared the dog and the seven cats and raised hairs on us kids too. But no matter what Mom did we thought she was amazing. She was sixty different women, feeding us meals, stitching our clothes when torn, keeping our house together. We would kneel on the couch and look out the window, see if Dad were ever coming home. She’d say, voice cracking, sorry, kids, your Dad and I—let’s just say my vision was bad before but now it’s improved. Once, crowded outside the kitchen out of view, we overheard her say, I’m not the other woman, sobbing to a friend over the phone, that’s the one woman I could never be.