Knows everything. From where to phone to find out about your social insurance claims to where to get the best plummers to where to buy the best camambert.

Can do anything. Work, cook, laugh, draw, love, hug, fix, console, arrange, decide, acquire, find out, tell.

Is always right. If my mom tells you to take your umbrella, you just know it's going to rain. It has to. It always does.

Is weak. Her heart rasps menacingly and her back seizes and grinds. Hr feet are often swollen and her eyes are often red.

Is all-powerful. No one defies my mother. No one ignores my mother. Not her children, not her husband, not her boss, not her in-laws, not her parents, not taxi drivers or sales bimbos or government droids. Everybody sits up and takes notice.

My mother is my world. She is my life. I would not have managed to stay alive as long as I have - alive in my body, alive in my mind - if it wasn't for the pure, solid, diamond-like certainty of her love and support.

My mother and I are joined by an imperceptible, invisible umbilical cord of the soul. We have the same thoughts at the same moments. We like the same things and think the same about people. We are a unit, a front, a circle that no one can break and no one can enter.

My mother will die before I do. And I don't want to live without her. There is nothing for me to live for if the better half of myself, my spirit, my courage, my strength are taken away. But she will. She is older than me and already not well and one day I will have my guts ripped out of me with a terrible, unimaginable monstrous pain and she will be gone forever.

And I am crying as I think about it, even now, sitting as I am at work, surrounded by people. I am crying because my mother is thousands of miles away from me and I am a wretched, undeserving, callous animal for doing something as idiotically cruel as not spend every breathing second of the rest of our time together with her, by her side, helping her, making sure she is happy, making sure she is whole.

I am forever halved. The half of me that wants its own life, its own loves and concerns, that yearns for independance and scope, is forever at war with the half of me that is my mother.