My parents were both first-generation irish catholics raised in brooklyn. But it was more for me - it was that women of that generation were even less likely to express themselves, more likely to have that active interior life that they didn't dare speak out. So i was interesting in women of that era. I was interested in the language of that era. There's so much. And, certainly, this is cultural, so much there wasn't spoken about.
The lesson, i suppose, is that none of us have much control over how we will be remembered. Every life is an amalgam, and it is impossible to know what moments, what foibles, what charms will come to define us once we're gone. All we can do is live our lives fully, be authentically ourselves and trust that the right things about us, the best and most fitting things, will echo in the memories of us that endure.
We turned onto the last landing. Going out with this guy, i thought, would involve a lot of silly laughter, some wit--the buzz of his whispered wisecracks in my ear. But there would be as well his willingness to reveal, or more his inability to conceal, that he had been silently rehearsing my name as he climbed the stairs behind me. There would be his willingness to bestow upon me the power to reassure him. He would trust me with his happiness.
My love for the child asleep in the crib, the child's need for me, for my vigilance, had made my life valuable in a way that even the most abundantly offered love, my parents', my brother's, even tom's, had failed to do. Love was required of me now--to be given, not merely to be sought and returned.