Saturday, March 3, 2012


Thank you so much for the incredibly warm response to my recent post about my dear old' dad.  He sure was "a good egg."  Ah, another common daddy-ism, typically said in the context of, "I don't care what anyone says about you,  I think you're a good egg."

It's a strange thing to lose a parent.    Stranger still to lose both.   

This is my new "status" upon the passing of my mother last week.

Once again I am reminded of the tesseract.  One minute you have parents.  The next, you don't.  Everything that connects you to your biological beginnings is suddenly lost somewhere under an uncomfortable wrinkle in the universe.   Surreal.

I may have already shared that my parents divorced when I was two years old.   It's hard to comprehend that they had been married for eleven years.  I struggle to think of anything they had in common.

Often divorced parents are all about unified fronts, shared parenting styles, and consistency.  "We need to do this for the children," and all that. 

In my case... um, not so much.   Don't get me wrong.  It was pretty amiable, despite the fact that dad's second wife was nearly two decades younger.  Oh, and she was my mother's sister.   Ah-yup.

The divorce magnified the differences between mom and dad to create two completely different worlds.  I'll have to write more about it all someday.  Naturally I'll also need to decide who will play the "young me" in the movie version.  It will definitely be a comedy. 

If there was any one thing that was equally safe, even sacred in both worlds, it was education and books. 

Daddy used to emphasize the process: learning how to learn, exploring, and leveraging wisdom.

From my mother I gleaned a bright, almost mischievous passion for words.  Upon discovering that I had circled every word "the" in her gilded Great Books of the Western World, she simply told me to try "and" next.   Then, she sent me on a wild goose chase through the fifty or so books to find the word "erroneous."  I was four years old.

By age seven, I had written my first illustrated storybook, The Sad Flower.  (Oy vey, a child psychologist could have had a field day with that one.) 

My passion for reading and writing was the one thing which was nurtured equally by my mother as well as my father.  The united front.

Yet, I have to thank my mom for the unique emotional connection.  I write because I love it.  She gave me that. 

I will picture her up above with a giant, glorious collection of books surrounding her.  Or more likely, she is charming Tolkien, Thoreau, and Gibran themselves in a room filled with smoke and laughter and words.


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Anonymous said...

That was so lovely. I would love to hear about your parents divorce and how you were feeling. I am now parentless too. Hugs. Cousin Geradine

webb said...

Am so sorry to learn of your mother's death. It's a difficult time especially so soon after your father's death.

Altho I would have told you that we were not close, when my mother died 18 months ago I spent at least 6 months on autopilot before I got my life back. it threw me for a big loop.

Hope that you have many good memories in that stockpile of yours to help you thru this difficult time. Just because we are parentless now, does not mean that that is not the natural order of things. All the things we learned from (and because of) them help to form the adults that we are now.

A big hug.

Tammy said...

If you ever do make a movie of your life, I would love to play the part of the present you. Quite an honor it would be. And I'd get to hang out with you for all the research for the role. :) ♥

Jaimie said...

<3 I send my best

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss Charlene, and yes, the connection biologically is lost, never really appreciated how much my parents held us to that. Felt like a orphan when I lost them both three weeks apart. Had great support from family and friends but still felt loss. Time does heal but memories only grown richer. Your in my thoughts and prayers.....

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