This a picture of my mom’s dad, Charles Connell, around the time he graduated from high school. To me, my mom looked just like him. And I think Cora got his ears 🙂
He died yesterday in Santa Rosa, which isn’t more than 90 minutes from where we live. Though he friended me on Facebook, he and I never spoke. We rarely exchanged comments or even “likes”. I didn’t know him at all and had only met him once, when I was too young to remember. All I know is the little my mom told me – he beat her and she hated him for it.
I have a lot of mixed feelings surrounding it all. I had little attachment to him and for much of my life never really thought about it. I knew my mom thought very little of him and that strong influenced my own feelings. But as I grow older, I noticed how the loss of her family feels something like losing her again for me. Or more like losing another piece of her, even if it wasn’t a piece I realized I was holding onto.
My relationship with my mother was strained toward the end of her life, like I believe many mother and teenage daughter relationships are. But I know how much she loved me. And I know that above everything else, she always did what she thought was best for me. She was probably the most fun person I have ever known. She was willing to do anything, even incredibly wacky dances and strange voices, to make you smile. I was constantly embarrassed by that as a kid. I wish I had been easier on my mom. I wish I would have laughed more and smiled more and enjoyed her more. But I was a dumb, short sighted kid and I didn’t. But I am wondering if I should go to this funeral, or service, or whatever they do in Charles’ honor. I am wondering if going there would be like being easier on my mom. And being a little easier on him. I know that what he did to my mom caused her an immense amount of pain and hurt, but what if that was simply the best he could do?