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My Parents

Life Story Club Contributor

My parents have both passed. My dad died when I was 17. He was that guy that would walk into the room and just light it up and he was an adventure. I think he might’ve gotten his pilot’s license before he got his driver’s license. He was born in 1930 and I think he got his pilot’s license in 1947 and he ended up, you know, flying small planes like water float planes. He ended up getting a gig immediately as a bush pilot up in Alaska. He spent a number of years up there just having wild adventures in the wilderness.

And, you know, one of the, one of the things that’s so hard about him being gone is just all of those stories. He was he was a storyteller and you know friends and family have so many stories about him. He was raised in a Christian Science household by very strict and stern mother and so he had a side of himself that was very strict. I was I was raised by an old school Dad. That’s what it felt like. He was 47 when I was born.

It just felt like he grew up in a very different time, in a very different way, and so there was some tension there. There was some conflict. I was very rebellious and now I am so grateful for the man that he was and for the way that he raised me and my brother. He was very much about manners. You don’t eat with your elbows on the table and you acknowledge people. He raised us with the four things that make the world work and those were sort of our guidelines for life. A compass of sorts. The four things that make the world work are: do what you’re asked, tell the truth, be considerate of yourself, and be considerate of others.

Those are the things that I’m really grateful to him for to this day. That, you know, that he raised me well, and to be thoughtful of ourselves and others.

And then my mom was an adventure in her own way. The way that my parents met—so my dad was a pilot and started out as a bush pilot in the middle and started flying for the airlines and my mom was a flight attendant, so pilot and flight attendant, and I think they might have met in Alaska. My mom was just—I feel so good about being mothered by her. That was so touching, and that’s how I feel about my mom. I feel so good about being mothered by her. Just a very precious, kind woman. And so funny, like a very wonderful, dark sense of humor.

You know, sometimes she would say something, but always good-natured. She had this little streak to her that sometimes would just make me laugh and catch me off guard. She was an artist. A creative. The way I described her is that she sort of processed the world with her hands, so her hands were always busy. She was a lace-maker, which if you know anything about how laces created like old school style—

I once asked my mom’s friend if you look at a lace pillow and see like 100 bonbons with 100 threads coming off of it and you understand the way that you have to leave the Bob Evans in and out. To make the to actually create the lace it. It boggles the mind just looking at it and I was like, well, who do you have to be in order to make lace. And so I asked my mom’s friend like do you really OCD to do this.

And my mom’s friend just laughed, and she said, yeah, it helps which says something about my mother and her mind like she could just go into the most incredible minutia. The most incredible detail. And create immense works of beauty. So that’s how that’s how I see it. My mom is someone who really brought a lot of beauty in the world.

I’m a creative and an artist and so I feel like I carry on that you know that legacy of hers. In general my parents were definitely not perfect humans. They had their shadows, along with their shimmers, but they were two people who really cared about being good to others and being helpful, being of service, and while it’s really difficult like living without them, I feel like those things are at the very foundation of who I am. So I actually have a very rich experience of them as I continue to live my own life.

I feel like I continue to get to know them as I continue to live my life, so it is their passing it has been an adventure of knowing and understanding them as I know and understand myself.

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