My mother was truly lost, and years later she confided that she wanted to commit suicide but couldn’t leave Thomas and me with that burden. She wanted out. Everything she thought would *work out* came crashing in. I was only 17 and viewed my father’s death as divine intervention. I had said to my mother – quite openly – “ma, if daddy is not going to recover and be better than before, it will be so much worse. you two are going to kill each other some day, and I’d rather daddy die.” It wasn’t said in malice. My father had become a very violent man. The police were at our house routinely because I was routinely having him arrested. We traced it back to a bad head injury in 1960 when the back of a moving truck’s door came down and knocked him out. He was out cold. He probably sustained a bad concussion at the least or maybe worse. Shortly thereafter his personality started getting twisted. He had terrible headaches. My parents didn’t believe in going to the doctor unless it was REALLY bad. I guess being knocked out cold, having blinding headaches that no number of aspirin would stop, changing personalities and becoming violent and menacing.. wasn’t enough of a red flag.
My parents adored each other. Truly. They loved each other passionately. I used to compare them to Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. They fought passionately, were extremely disruptive, embarrassed the crap out of Thomas and I on any number of occasions…. and one time when I was skewing my mother about her marriage and my father and their relationship I said “ma, you and dad could have whatever twisted type marriage you ended up with… what you didn’t have the right to do… was inflict it on everybody else.
When my father died on November 19, 1971 – her world crashed and nothing made sense anymore. That began her journey into metaphysics, the esoteric and astrology. I was extremely dismissive of her new found knowledge cause I just thought astrology was for the birds. I attributed all magic and experiences to the universe (yes, I started young, in kindergarten). I had a very personal relationship with trees and would sit in the woods for hours with the jack-in-the-pulpits, moss, leaves, and animals. I was reluctant to all the praise she gave astrology and over the next 20 years, I grew to see its merits. My mother said her proudest moment was when I said to her “ma, i don’t understand how or why it (astrology) works… it just does.” She was thrilled. You see, every year, at christmas, one of my stocking stuffers was an astrological ephemeris for the year. I still have them – all. Gradually, I would make notations, then observations, then connections, and then summaries. Wow. I could be in the office… and *feel* transits (particularly mercury and mars; communications and energy/action). There is something to it… even if I don’t thoroughly understand the all of it.