For carrying me home after all those long Sunday trips to the Bronx when I was just a tiny thing, when I'd invariably fall asleep on the last leg of the subway ride.
For singing me to sleep when I was little - I still know all those songs.
For taking me into the darkroom you'd rigged up in the bathroom, and teaching me how film becomes negatives, and how negatives become prints.
For getting me those hiking boots when the world expected me to want Mary-Janes.
For letting me stay up late whenever West Side Story was on tv.
For taking me with you on so many Saturdays, to see the movies Ma and my sisters didn't care about, but we loved. There were so many, but I mostly remember Outland - a version of High Noon in space that we loved so much, we stayed for a second screening.
For not skipping a beat when I had the chance to go to a great school at age 12, even though going meant riding the subway all by myself, all the way to the Upper East Side of Manhattan because, as you told me years later, you knew I could be trusted to take care of myself.
For never caring that I didn't want to wear a dress or do most of the things that girls are expected to do.
For giving me art and photography books from the time I was big enough to hold books in my hands.
For taking the time during your own profound grief to tell me, on the day she died, just how much my mother loved me. I knew this, but I needed to hear it, and you knew that.