When I was not yet three years old, John Richard and Grace Elizabeth Ingram adopted me from an orphanage in southwest London. At the time, my dad was the minister of a thriving church and I was the fourth (and youngest) adopted kid in my family. My heritage is of African descent and my adoptive parents are Caucasian. When I was four, a stroke left my father paralysed down his left side; he died when I was 18.
Due to the stroke, it was difficult for dad to speak so we spent countless hours communicating by playing games of dominoes. Dad would rest his paralysed arm on his card table and play a ferocious game of dominoes with his “good arm.” Invariably he won. Ironically, my dad’s nickname for me was “Topsy.” Even if I didn’t win against him at dominoes he expected me to come top of the class in all my school subjects. I did my best not to let him down.
If I quiet the voices in my head I can still hear the cranky squeaks of his wheelchair. The clicking made by the calipers that were attached to his
legs below the knee. The incessant wheeze from the asthma that attended the paralysis. His body was his burden.
As a child there were times when I longed to pick him up and carry him on my back. Far and away from his wheelchair and back to the fleeting memory I had of him as my able-bodied dad. Now that I’m an adult, I believe there are no accidents. My dad is my role model and I have found my dream job improving the lives of persons with disabilities in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
Thank you dad! Happy Father’s Day.
In France I came across this sign:
Provisional bar and occasional hotel.
I wonder if this establishment accepts reservations?
My problem was I had too much beautiful.
Too beautiful, too fulfilled, lived in beauty, raised in beauty, and was too self-satisfied to make any kind of real sacrifice.
I was too beautifully fulfilled to bother with anything of substance beyond hollow praise and easy come, easy go positive self-reinforcement.
I thought I had it all.
It’s dark and I’m searching for my wine bottle.
Who am I hiding from?
Is the denial of grief like a ship docked on dry land for too many days?
Am I afraid that grief is such a deep well that if I look into that well, I will falter?
Am I alone at this depth?
Joan Didion on Her New Memoir ‘Blue Nights’ — New York Magazine.