20 years ago yesterday, my aunt and I took my mother home from the hospital.

We pushed her in a wheelchair all over her gardens so she could see the flowers blooming and could smell the cherry tree blossoms. We picked lily of the valley, and daffodils and violets and filled her lap with the flowers. She just kept whispering, “beautiful, so beautiful.”

20 years ago yesterday, I still thought my mother might live — that she was getting better.

But 20 years ago yesterday, I brought her home to die.

My aunt kindly reminded me of that this weekend, lest I forget. Like I would — like I could.

So begins a month of days I will tick off and remember what happened 20 years ago, until the day that — 20 years ago — my mother died.