It’s my great pleasure to host #RRBC and #RWISA author, Mary Adler. Below, you will find a touching piece that tells how one writer keeps the loved ones who have passed on alive in her world(s).
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YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN
Everyone from my childhood family is gone. No aunts, uncles, parents or grandparents. When my last aunt died, I realized there was no one in the world who remembered me as a child. The blonde curls, untying the chickens who wrecked my grandmother’s dining room instead of escaping, the precocious words, the broken bones. No one knew how old women in head scarves reminded me of Little Annie Rooney’s Mrs. Meany and kept me glued to my grandmother’s leg, or why I wouldn’t go out when there was a full moon. Of course, there is no one to remember that they had told me the man in the moon ate little girls with blonde hair. Look, see how he’s following you?
When my grandmother died, she took with her the way she saw me, the way I loved to be seen. When Aunt Jane died, she took with her the joy of remembering together our journey to New York or going for car rides on sweltering Pittsburgh nights when we couldn’t sleep.
Each death diminished my life, because although I had my memories, I had no one left to remember them with. I felt as if I had been left behind, alone, while they were all together somewhere, laughing and talking and looking at each other with the love and understanding that grew from years and years of shared joys and sorrows.
I have my own family. Husband, children, their spouses, grandchildren. And my friends. And my dogs. And the memories we have all made together. My children still exist in my world as the ten-year old gymnast, the sixteen-year old world traveler, the six-year old builder of complex cities and as each of the other people they have been through their lives. Really exist. Alive in my memory at a particular place and time, and I cherish all the children they are.
I have found a way to be with the people who are gone. They live in the characters and situations in my mystery novels. When I write a scene about Mrs. Forgione in the kitchen, about her best friend Edna, about Angelo and Harry, I am with my family again, cooking and laughing and sharing stories. I can almost smell the garlic.
When I write, I am with them. Telling them how deeply loved and missed they are, showing the world their kindness and playfulness, their compassion and joy. Sharing with my readers the world I knew when I was a child.
I wish they could read the books. I wish they could know how deeply loved and missed they are. I wish I could thank them for the wealth of stories they told me, for giving me a lens to see the world through.
Actually, I think they do know. Somehow, somewhere in the vast universe.
What do you think? Can you go home again?
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Follow Mary online:
Twitter – @MAAdlerwrites
Facebook – https://maryadlerwrites.com/
Mary Adler was an attorney and dean at CWRU School of Medicine. She escaped the ivory tower for the much gentler world of World War II and the adventures of homicide detective Oliver Wright and his German shepherd, Harley. She lives with her family in Sebastopol, California, where she creates garden habitats for birds and bees and butterflies. She is active in dog rescue and does canine scent work with her brilliant dogs — the brains of the team — and loves all things Italian.