Regarding episode 122, for Mother’s Day 2021:
If you’re not a member of my family, there are some moments in episode 122 when you probably have no idea what we’re talking about. If you’re a regular listener, you might connect some of the dots. But, even if you are a family member, you could be unfamiliar with some of the things you hear. So, allow me to fill in some blanks.
- I was born and raised in Kokomo, Indiana. It’s a blue-collar town that, in Indiana, is regarded as a city. This is where my mother and most of my surviving siblings reside. My mom touches on some of the factories there, including Kingston Products, where her grandfather worked.
- I am the youngest of eight kids, with five sisters and two brothers. Most of them are mentioned during the episode. In birth order, it’s Mary, Ann, Linda, Mark, Jane, Matt, Beth, and Tom. Mary is the infant you see my mom holding in the cover art. Linda passed in 2015. My oldest sister, Mary, is 23 years older than I am. My nearest sibling in age is Beth, who is six years older than I am.
- My mom talks about the beginning of her relationship with my dad, Jack, who passed in 2005. They came of age during the great depression, and both attended Kokomo High School. My dad left prior to graduating and, during World War II, joined what was then the Army Air Corp, where he served in Alaska, prior to its statehood, and obtained his GED. He met my mom, and they began dating, when he returned home.
- As we discussed, when my mom was carrying me, my sisters Ann and Linda were also pregnant. One gave birth the month before my mom did, and the other the month after. So, my mom was already a grandmother when I was born, and I have a nephew who is a month older than I am.
- I lived with my parents until I was 23, when I left to address my problematic drinking. We touched on some the circumstances related to my departure. The last day of my drinking involved several interactions with paramedics and a trip to the emergency room. After refusing to stay in the hospital, I was arrested for public intoxication and spent the night in jail. The next afternoon, my mom and I flew to South Florida. There, with my sister Linda and her husband, she escorted me to a substance abuse treatment facility, where I stayed for a month. After completing the aftercare recommendations, I opted to remain in the area. I have lived in Palm Beach County ever since. I talk more about this in episode 23 of the podcast.
- My mom mentions her Uncle Charles, who also had a problem with alcohol. I only remember being in his presence once. But, it was always apparent to me how loved he was. When my family spoke of him, it was with a tone of reverence. So, Uncle Charles, who was an artist and a writer, seemed to me to have been a sort of magical figure. My mom always told me I got my auburn hair and my blues eyes from him. He was survived by his wife, my Aunt Estelle. I remember her as a kind and elegant woman.
- My mom discusses her involvement with Al-Anon Family Groups, of which she has long been a member.
I think that covers everything. If you have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you enjoyed this.
Thanks for listening,