Life Rough Week
posted by April 7 at 7:25 AMon
Before I jump back into Slogging I wanted to thank everyone who sent condolence notes. It’s been a rough seven days, to say the least, and the emails have truly been a comfort.
I also wanted to share this picture. It was taken in the living room of the apartment on Glenwood Avenue in Chicago where I grew up—the same apartment, as I wrote in The Commitment, where my mother and grandmother grew up. I’ve always loved how everyone in the picture is fully lit—my dad, my mom, my brothers, my sister. Everyone except for me. I’m the boy on the right, just behind my mother’s shoulder, the kid with the biggest mouth (although my blond brother Eddie is a close second). And I’m literally standing in my mother’s shadow.
I’ve been looking at this picture a lot this week, and not just for the heavy-handed, pink-tinted symbolism of it all (the gay son is in his mother’s shadow—what were the odds?). It’s just that after watching the light go out of my mother’s eyes last Monday morning I really needed to spend some with pictures taken of mom when her light was still blazing. And this is one of my favorites.
Anyway, I’m back—well, to intermittent blogging, at least. Then it’s off to Chicago and back to Glenwood Avenue for a wake at one end of the block (Maloney’s Funeral Home) and a funeral at the other (St. Ignatius). Mom asked us to scatter some of her ashes in the alley behind our old apartment building, the alley that was our playground when we were kids. Me and my siblings are going to do that for her—and then we’re going to go out and get lit, fully lit, all four us this time.