When You Can’t Go Home Again


When the last of your parents die it is often a mental game changer.  The death of a parent is a tough although often sweet sadness after a long life.  When your first parent dies you can often take solace in and with the second.  When the second parent dies it quietly  creeps into your  mind that you are now the parent, the old one, hopefully the wise one ,  you are now the home you used to go home to.

I am writing  this after the death of my best friend’s mother. Hell she might as well have been my mother too as I spent as much time at her house as I did at my own. She took care of me as she did her own, invited me to thanksgiving when my parents were out of town, even Christmas one year and when I acted up she wasn’t particularly shy about taking me down a peg just as she was with her own kids.

It was a different world then, a world with neighborhoods  where 12 year olds were given guns and expected to not shoot each other , where kids could have paper routes and we were expected to walk home from school, no matter what the weather without fear but with responsibility  . It was a  world of holidays  where cream, and butter ,  deliciously adulterated egg-nog for everyone even the older kids  and cooking the turkey at low temperature over-night would not kill you.  I am sure Bea was not a perfect mother, few are, but she was an honest one and  in my memory you rarely had to guess about where she stood on any issue.

Her son and I growing up together did some dumb things, some exciting things, some things neither of us probably remember and some we would like to forget, but through it all we could always go home again.  Being  a parent can be both an awful and awesome responsibility that is often reflected in the kids we raise be they our own  or someone else’s.  The  proof of the value of Bea’s  life lies not in any obituary or eulogy it lies in her children and her  grandchildren.  The circle is unbroken the home has simply changed hands.  Rest in peace Bea.

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About safrisri

I have been a teacher since 1971 and have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. My writings will reflect on my past mistakes and successes and what my students have taught me about education.
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2 Responses to When You Can’t Go Home Again

  1. Steve Hanson says:

    Thank you Rich. As the youngest son of Bea, your writings here have had a profound effect on my perception of Mom. I was so young when you and Cliff were in school and hung out all of the time that you seemed like another brother in the house. It was the norm to have a house full of teens at our house right on up through the mid seventies when I was graduated from high school. In hind sight, our home truly was the Cleaver/Donna Reed household and I was so blessed to have been raised by two such wonderful parents, one of which you have honored here. Thank you again.

  2. thelastgasp1 says:

    Thanks Rich…I am deeply touched…you have captured the essence of a wonderful mother, but also of a special time…a simpler time when respect, morality and common sense where the rule not the exception.

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