i know that i should be writing about mothers – since this is mother’s day. and included in the title above is my husband’s mother, marianne. she died…10 years? ago – a bit more i think ..suddenly diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. one of the cruelest ironies for a woman who was so brutally health-concious and vibrant. but i’m starting this by saying that i miss my father-in-law keenly just now. paul’s father suddenly passed away last june. bill had a massive stroke and paul ran to his side to be with his brother and wait the agonizing 6+ days until he passed away.
the day i got married i cried. i cried because i suddenly realized that i had something so precious that i would eventually lose. i felt like the clock had started ticking that day and that i was making a commitment that meant great joy and, eventually, great loss. i see that loss in my husband’s eyes and spirit when he remembers his amazing father.
my father-in-law was truely one of a kind. if you look up the saying ‘they broke the mold’ you’ll find his photo under the entry. he was brilliant. he never stopped thinking and dissecting and and insisted on getting other people to think about the possibilities and the changes that could happen in the world…he always wanted to discuss the world and people. i grew up in a world where the most important thing was to get ahead and bill so often opened my eyes to what was around me rather than what i thought i wanted. there are so many people out there who can better talk about him as a professor and about his scholarly works and efforts. i can speak to the bill who adored his two sons and who was their best friend. phone calls to our house usually started with: “hi beany. by the way, have you read page 32 of the monthly review?’….” but he also remained a simple brooklyn boy and loved to sit in the yard or sit on the porch and talk to anyone who walked by. i ache that my daughter won’t know either of her grandparents – and she is so much like each of them that paul and i often find ourselves catching our breath to see them spiritually dance around her.
If you want to read more about him, here is the memorial page …the entries are amazing. i haven’t even done justice to speaking about missing him and the loss of him in the world. i just do.