I send my mother cards because she has trouble answering the phone. Today’s is a Hungarian landscape from World War II. It’s remarkably free of destruction and death, unlike what we see in war photos from the newspapers.
The place in Texas where she’s living resembles the card’s frontpiece. There’s a lake. There are houses. The hills are a dull green, shot through with bare soil. A year ago, when she hated where she was, my mother threatened to move to Czechoslovakia. Next to Hungary. Close to Ukraine. I’m glad she didn’t. Here, she imagines escape without confronting the reality.