Sunday, May 09, 2004


My mom died when I was 14. She was killed by a drunk driver. She was younger than I am now and a recent widow. She's buried with my father at a veteran's cemetery in New York, which I've only been to for their funerals.

It's interesting what I recall about my mother. I remember her adopted East coast liberal leanings - both culturally and politically - being in constant conflict with her East Texas Methodist roots. I remember her anger at the injustice in the world, both close to home and far away. I know she struggled with the restrictive imagery of God sewn into her childhood. I know she wanted to know more about her own mother who died when Mom was three. I know she didn't relate particularly well with her step-mom, and other members of her family. Those are the surface things I remember, and I don't think of them often.

In truth I don't think of my mother often enough. When I do those aren't the things that come to mind.

I think about the woman who encouraged my creativity. Who relished the opportunity to immerse her sons in the sophisticated culture of New York, something she certainly never could imagine as a child growing up in the piney woods of East Texas.

I remember a woman who loved books and birds. She was strong, independent and determined, yet she often couldn't conceal her frailties. In fact sometimes she went out of her way to share them with her youngest son.

It's been 32 years since she died and in some ways I become more like her every day.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!