I knew my girls were home because their car was in the garage, but when I walked into the house there was no sign of them. It was too quiet. “Girls?” I called. “Up here,” Claire responded. It was almost 6 o’clock, and the pets needed feeding, dinner needed to be started, and oh, the wet laundry in the washer needed to be dealt with. The voicemail light on the phone was blinking, and the chilly air in the now nearly bare family room seemed to be screaming, “Make a fire. Now!” But instead I dropped my school bags on the rug and walked upstairs, just to check in. “Where are you?” I asked as I peeked into both of their rooms. “We’re in your room,” they said in unison. We all laughed, and I walked in to find Claire curled up on my bed, Frances on the lone chair that remained in there. “You okay?” I asked. “We’re fine. We’ve just been talking, ” Frances replied. I eased down onto the far end of the bed and shed my coat. “Yeah, we’ve had a really good talk. About everything,” Claire added. “I’m glad…” I said quietly. And then, for the next half hour, we sat there, the three of us, talking about everything and nothing, laughing, crying, reminiscing, dreaming, and just being together.