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.