Pharos-Tribune

Columns

August 8, 2013

WILLIAMS: A place in time to go back to

My mother still thinks she has a mobile home in Kokomo.

“Well,” she says, “I’ve enjoyed our visit but I’m ready to go home now.”

I convince her to stay with me “a while longer.” She agrees ... reluctantly.

Kokomo is what she always harks back to. She moved her trailer to Indianapolis later and lived there for many more years until she retired, eventually coming to Wabash with me and John but it seems as if the Indianapolis era has entirely disappeared from her memory.

So you have to wonder: was Kokomo her happiest time that she is so insistent on returning? (Dad was already dead by then. They were married for over 30 years but she rarely mentions him.)

She was in her prime middle age in Kokomo. She worked for the Department of Defense as a Quality Assurance Representative, a job with high pay and excellent benefits. She was totally independent with no one to complain or criticize (my father having been a dominant, and often negative, personality). Her two sisters-in-law (both also widows), lived in Kokomo, too, along with numerous nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and nephews, all of whom petted and pampered the aunts.

The three “old bags” as they laughingly called themselves went to garage sales and out to eat. They gathered in one another’s kitchens for coffee klatches. They read the same books. The family was communal then. There were lots of birthday parties and baby showers and New Year’s Eve celebrations, often at facilities large enough for bars and bands and dancing.

So, when you become like my mom, sliding into dementia, do you yearn to return to the most satisfying time of your life? And when was that for you?

For myself, it would be neither of my marriages. The first one was mostly about never having enough money (oh, those dreaded calls from creditors and trying to avoid the landlord because you didn’t have enough to pay the rent.) The second marriage was about worrying over a Vietnam veteran husband who was prone to mood swings ... and drowning the down times in alcohol. I can look back with love but no desire to relive our lives together.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • MARCUS: The higher education funding mess Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 29, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The state of the reunion “Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 29, 2014

  • COATS: What to do next with Putin, Ukraine The tragic death of 298 people on board Malaysian Airlines flight 17 in a wheat field in eastern Ukraine marks a moment when words of disapproval and expressions of grief are not enough. This is a moment when action must follow the outrage and rhetor

    July 28, 2014

  • LYONS: The most powerful men in the world? Search the phrase “the most powerful man in the world” and what comes up are photos of grotesquely over-developed weightlifters; also Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. Awfully ironic under present circumstances. It’s a cant term TV news anchors use to

    July 28, 2014

  • CEPEDA: What are students to eat now Remember last year’s hysteria over school lunches? Administrators, cafeteria workers, students and parents across the country freaked out when — gasp! — school lunches were made healthier.News reports throughout the 2012-13 school year — when lunch s

    July 27, 2014

  • HOWEY: Rising up to meet Putin’s thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 27, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Congress scolded for its failures Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Hamilton and fell

    July 27, 2014

  • DORAN: How to handle the pool problem By Terry DoranGuest columnistAs a longtime board member of the parks board and having grown up nearby, it troubles me to read of the decision to close the city pool at Tower Park. This is obviously not a new discussion. I sat in on many meetings with

    July 27, 2014

  • WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 25, 2014

  • FREY: Hero pilot still on a mission to save lives Ordinary people who live their lives, do something spectacular one day, and then embrace a great cause after retirement are tops in my book.Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III is such an individual. He is the pilot who safely landed a US Airways airplan

    July 25, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.