I wasn’t going to write this, but after Easter, I decided that now is the time to do it.
I don’t know about you, but I often reflect a bit when Easter and Christmas arrive.
Things slow down, so I create a space to think about other issues, like the state of the world, the madness of crowds, and on the personal front, my family.
Like you, family is vital, but I don’t have much of a family now. Besides a couple of cousins that I rarely talk to, my family consists of my two lovely sons.
Of course, when I was growing up, things were different. Two women – my mum and grandma – raised me.
My mum was a highly stressed person and a massive introvert, while my grandma was the total opposite, an eccentric extrovert who would organize enormous street parties just for the heck of it.
Her name was Edna, but everyone called her Gay because she was gay – that is, a happy person, not a lesbian.
She also had a penchant for budgerigars. When you combine the natural show-off instincts of an extrovert with love for her feathered friends, you get this outcome:
She would take me shopping with a budgie perched on her shoulder.
Nice budgie you’ve got there, Mrs. Baker’, said the butcher. “Yes, his name is Micky – I take him to church too’, came the reply. Meanwhile, I’m trying to slink out of the shop; such was my embarrassment.
Anyway, when my mum told her family she was getting married, she copped a lot of flack. Why would she marry a man who contracted polio when he was eight and could never walk again?
I have no idea, but he had an intellectual bent and was a good-looking dude. Maybe that explains it.
It didn’t occur to my mother that marrying a man who spent his days in a wheelchair was not a smart move.
Not that I’m complaining – I am the product of their short 12-month union. Gratitude.
After they split, my mom would take me to his house once a month for a visit. Although the monthly visits went on for years, I never felt I knew him except that he was a voracious reader and had a penchant for singers like the extraordinary Sarah Vaughan.
I miss you Dad. I miss not having a male role model. Perhaps I wouldn’t have made so many mistakes as an adult.
Not that I’m playing the blame-shifting game. We make the most of the hand we’ve been given, and when we mess up, we take it on the chin like an adult.
That said, my Mom and Grandma were the most important people in my life.