Thursday, June 8, 2017

Parental Guidance

Earlier this week, when exactly I know not as the days have tended to bleed into one another, I swapped messages with my great friend Dave Lackland, one of the planet's superior human beings. We are both fifty years old. Each of us is a husband. Each of us is a father. He is not yet a grandfather but since Indy has not yet joined the "double numbers Club" I am guessing that Dave and Tessa are neither surprised nor disappointed by that fact. 

Each of us is, as Dave correctly pointed out, an orphan. Considering the plight of children all over the world orphaned at a tender, too-young age, no one's heart breaks for a fifty-year-old adult who falls into that category. Nor should it. While Dave has a certain inherent "huggable" quality to his personality, Daddy Warbucks would not touch me with a ten-foot pole, let alone hug me.

I understood Dave's point, which was not "poor poor pitiful us" but was instead an acknowledgement of the fact that irrespective of your age, when both of your parents die, your mooring gets a bit looser and uncertain. For a half-century, my life has been guided by a simple credo:  Do not do anything that will embarrass or disappoint Mom. A quarter-century ago, I expanded that list to include my wife and children.  Two months ago, I expanded it again to include my granddaughter.  Now, for the first time in my life, I move forward through this world without Mom. I know not how the story ends because I write a new chapter in it daily and know not when its final chapter shall be written.

Mom was unquestionably the greatest teacher I had or shall ever have. We shall now see just how good a student I am. Class is most assuredly in session.


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