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.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Gone Daddy, Gone

How I wanted to be a hippie.

All my friends had teenage siblings with hair parted in the middle that reached halfway down their backs, and rebellious attitudes that extended even deeper.

A tween, the closest I came to being hip was covering my walls with DayGlo posters that said, love, peace and happiness.

This was 1968. The country was changing. We were losing the Vietnam War. There was one hope. Bobby Kennedy. He was running for president, and Bobby was going to save us.

Rescue me.

The political Bobby was not the man I saw. It was his patriarchal side that attracted me. A father of eleven. Eleven! His family played touch football. I didn’t even know what it meant. It sounded like a father giving his child a warm hug after a well-thrown spiral.

Nineteen sixty eight was a seminal year for me for another reason: it was when my father abandoned my family. His leaving marked us. Our upper-middle class status immediately changed: we became less thans.

Bobby Kennedy would never do that. He became the surrogate father I no longer had.

With great care, I cut out pictures of Bobby from my mother’s “Life,” and “Look” magazines as he played touch football on that fabled lawn in Hyannis Port and hung them between my Monkees posters and plastic signs that said, groovy.

I had pictures of Bobby on the campaign trail, too. His white shirtsleeves rolled up to just below his elbows, his skinny black tie flying in the wind, as he shook hand after hand, shoving a thatch of hair out of his eyes.

I was filled with love for him, but shrouded in anger. Angry that my father could run away so easily and take only one picture of his family with him while leaving an entire photo album scattered behind.

Bobby would never leave his children.

Then he did.

Jack LaLanne, the fitness guru of his day, was exercising on TV. Only Jack wasn’t on the air. I could not believe what was. I screamed for my mother.

She ran up the stairs as the blur of what she saw became painfully focused. We stared at the TV as our cries pierced the silence.

“There goes our hopes and dreams,” Mom finally said. “They shot another good man. John Kennedy. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now Bobby Kennedy.”

He passed the next day.

That morning, I carefully began removing his pictures from my walls. Bobby shaking hands. Playing touch foodball. Hugging his children.

It was like losing a father twice.

By Dawn Yun


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This is a stunning piece. Powerful, beautiful, poignant.
This is SO well-written. Wow.

And what interesting timing -- in the month of June, in the wake of Hillary's poorly chosen words.

Thank you!
Wow, this piece was so touching. I felt the loss both times reading this.

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