She wished her heart was broken as cleanly as the frost-ravaged stone in her winter garden. Surely a wound with such crisp edges could heal, given time, leaving few noticeable scars. Her heart, she was certain, more closely resembled a flag that had been left at full staff in a vicious hurricane. Another long jagged tear appeared as he raised a threatening fist in thunderous rage. Already tattered edges were flayed yet again by a pelting torrent of hateful words. One more irretrievable piece was torn away when he stormed out the door in a hail of curses. Seeking shelter for her wounded heart, she wrapped herself in a faded quilt and huddled in the corner of the sofa as the tempest roared off into the night. She wondered for the thousandth time just how much longer the last fragile threads of a mother’s love could withstand such a battering from her only son. And she wept.