November 11, 2009
Last year, for Holidailies, I started giving links at the end of the current piece to the Holidailies pieces of the past. At the beginning of the month I decided to do the same for NaBloPoMo, extracting actual text as a pullquote rather than giving a summary of what I’d written about. Also during Holidailies last year, I started using a technique many busy columnists and television programmers use. In an effort to provide content every day, I posted a “best of” piece, an essay that I had written and posted in the past. A rerun, if you will.
Today’s post is not a rerun, because I can’t decide which of the two pieces I have written for this day should be the one that gets repeated every year. It’s Veterans’ Day, of course, and that calls for the piece I did for 2007 about my father’s military service. But is also the anniversary of my mother’s death.
As I have noted in several recent posts, the studio I work in has a view of the neighborhood where I grew up. Through much of October I set aside the novel I have been working on to complete a short story that drew on incidents that happened to me around the time of my mother’s death in 1993 as well as a memory of a broken jar of mayonnaise the summer I was ten. The east windows of my studio look directly across the water to the church of my childhood and, on the hill above, the block on Fifth Street where I lived. Because there can be a harsh glare off the water, I position my desk diagonally so that it looks out the north windows where the glare is softened by the landscape of Wade Island just down over the hill from the Aerie and Peters Mountain beyond. One day, deep into the created world of my story that owes so much to the actual world I one inhabited, I looked up and realized I was looking across the water at the hospital where my mother died.
My mother was born in 1911, two years before World War I began. My father was born in 1916, two years before it ended. He served in World War II, met my mother, a young career woman working as a secretary for the federal government, when he was undergoing training at what is still an army depot at New Cumberland. I can see the bridge that passes through that facility from the south windows of my studio.
You would honor my mother, my father, and me, by following the links below. Thank you for reading so much, so often.
The NaBlos of the Past:
2008: On the Anniversary of My Mother’s Death — My mother had rules that she lived by. Do your homework and practice your violin before you watch television. The boys you meet in the student lounge might be entertaining, but the ones you find in the library are headed for success. One Rose Rule that has greatly influenced me was this: Never use your credit card for pantyhose or food, or anything else that will be gone before the bill comes.
2007: Veterans’ Day — My father died in 1985, before I became a mother, before I became a historian. As a mother I’ve taken a hard look at my values and how they have informed my perceptions. As a historian, I’ve learned what it means to live in wartime, as a soldier or a civilian. When my husband’s aunt died we came into possession of the letters his uncle wrote home from his duty stations in 1943 and 1944. Like my father, Uncle Flash served in a support unit rather than a combat unit. His Army Air Corps squadron served on an island in the South Pacific, repairing and maintaining battle-damaged B-24 and B-25 bombers.
2006: I did not post on this day in 2006.Love it? Hate it? Just want to say hi?
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