Friday, April 17, 2009

Oldest living person in my life...

I've been waiting to stumble on something not pleasant about my dam's death, other than practical things, and I found one.

In court, actually- at a hearing on a State child. This boy had truly horrid parents and was protected from them by state custody when he was very small, like four.

He'd bounced around as they do- orphanages, group homes, foster placements, a little delinquency. Every change had to be court approved, by this same judge. Also, as with every child it commits, the court had reviews every six months or so to see how he was doing.

He had turned eighteen, and this was his last review. The judge told him he was no longer in state custody as of his birthday next week, chatted with him about his prospects, and wished him luck.

As he got up to leave, he started to cry. Really cry, those hitching sobs of bereavement. The judge asked him what was wrong- his life was just beginning, he never had to come back to account for anything. He was free now, for the first time , he owned himself. What was wrong?

"But judge- now there won't be anybody who's known me all my life."

Mi casa su casa, Demetrius.

It's strange that I can remember when I first met everyone who is still in my own life. Senior to everyone I know.

Ugh. Oldest living means next dead.

(Not the child's real name of course.)


Bob said...

Not only is this story sad, but I find two other points in your posting disturbing. The word is mother, not dam. And why is it that you are at last finding something unpleasant about your mother's death? It doesn't really put you in a good light sir.

staghounds said...

Welcome Bob, thank you for your comment, helps me think.

It is a sad story, it was a sad thing to see. And a fairly complicated idea from an unlikely source.

Still trying to work all this out in my own head, if that's even possible.

True, I lack "normal" emotions toward my own parent, but such is the nature of a Harlow monkey. A couple of days after the funeral, my littermate asked me if I had any reactions. I told her that I felt...


She said, "That's it! That's how I feel too, just couldn't put it into words!"

There really aren't any negatives for me. She was very sick and had been for some time. She left us enough money that we'll none of us be destitute, with a little care. (Not that she earned it, it was from our father and grandfather, but she might have left it to the church or something.) We spent little time together. Sadly, that was about it.

My New York family is a wonderful example of a happy one, so I know they exist. The one I was born and raised in could have been MUCH worse.

I was never trained to fail, materially neglected, or sexually molested. My parents were clever, outward directed, curious, and loved learning. They sent me to the best schools. They set good examples for respecting everyone as a fellow human, taking control of situations, thrift, and being active.

The house was full of books and music. Television was forbidden with very narrow exceptions.

Even the bad examples bore fruit- my cigarette fiend father's brown fingertips put me off tobacco, and I'm inoculated against recreational/compulsion violence by the maternal inflictions thereof.

I recognise the work she did as a governess, I really do. But that is long past.

And the Dam and Littermate references are just conceits I've fallen into, note the blog title.

Bob said...

Well, I read your comment and I am sorry your childhood was not all it could have been but you and a billion other people. Of course, the danger always is that adults who have had dysfunctional relationships with their mother often fail to enjoy rewarding relationships with women later on.(There is a therapist in my family so I hear this all the time). Because you seem like a nice, curious guy I went back and read some of your past blogs and you certainly keep on top of the political scene.