“1979” by Smashing Pumpkins always makes me nostalgic for moments that never happened. The song is playing while I'm on my phone and looking at a picture my wife took of our daughter and sent to me earlier in the day. Our daughter's hands, pressed against her cheeks, are covered in paint after an afternoon arts and crafts project.
As I admire the picture, I wish I could send it to my mother, with whom my daughter shares a name. I don't know if my daughter looks like my mother—I've always been bad at recognizing that sort of thing—but in that moment, I like to think I can see my mother in her.
And I like to think my mother would love the picture, just as I'm sure she would love to know my daughter is named after her. And also in that moment, I can't help feeling as if my mother is still with me. And I also feel as I'm taking care of the woman who once took care of me.