In Grace Loh Prasad’s essay at The Offing, she reflects on the bonds of family, even when loved ones are physically separated, and what happens when that family is gone. What is the alternative? What can take its place? Prasad’s musings on being a mother and finding a community of one’s own are moving and poignant.

The older he gets, the more I worry that I have not done enough to knit a tapestry that will enfold and protect him, that will open doors and give him room to stretch while keeping him out of harm’s way, that will imprint a pattern so deep and recognizable that he can always find his way home. This is what I am most afraid of: that I will be exposed as the mother who cannot weave, who cannot on her own produce the work of many hands, the unseen web that no one notices but everyone needs. Try as I might, there is no material stronger than kinship.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.