The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007



For 27 years, I’ve spent Memorial Day weekend remembering the dead. I’ve felt somewhat guilty in this, though, because I’m not necessarily remembering soldiers who’ve died in the line of duty, instead I’m remembering my aunts: women who’ve died in the line of, well, something else.

Twenty-seven years ago my mother’s youngest sister, Arlene, ended her life in a closed garage with her engine running after a night of drinking at a Memorial Day party. Coming off a disastrous marriage and enormous loneliness, the crumpled up notes in the trashcan revealed she set out this very weekend to attempt to fulfill on an ominous promise she’d made my mother when they were teens: that she wouldn’t live a day past 30. She was 32.

Ten years before that – although not this very weekend – my mom and Arlene’s oldest sister, Karen, took her own life, as well, with a gun at the base of a steel beam bridge. She left behind a disastrous marriage and a 5-year-old child. I didn’t learn about the manner of Karen’s death until Arlene’s, and, at that point, my 9-year-old brain merged these tragedies in season.

So, come Memorial Day weekend, I can’t help but think of the pain that must’ve led these women to their chosen deaths. I also think of the pain that remained, liquid and bursting in the hearts of their families.

Over the years, through different phases of my life, I’ve spent this weekend considering loss from various perspectives: from that of my mother, my mother’s remaining siblings, my grandparents, and my cousin.

And, perhaps, often, I’m thinking of myself, as a blood relative and a product of that family -- hoping that the love and joy and strength that sustain me now will always do what I count on them to do, which is, well, to sustain me.

By Anjie Reynolds


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wow! this is really intense and moving. fascinating peek into the legacy of your aunts' despair. i really loved reading this. -- Laura-Lynne
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