Today is the 83rd birthday of my mother, Janet McCray House King. She was born in rural Rhode Island and raised on a poultry farm. Her mother often went days without speaking a word and her father left one day, when my mother was a teenager, and never came back.
She married my father on August 28, 1951. He had two children from a previous marriage and I was born on July 19, 1952. She bore five more kids.
Mom was never one for small talk. She played the piano:”Lola,” “I Dream of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair,” Rachmaninov’s “Prelude in C Sharp Minor.” She bought me books: The Secret Garden. The Wind in the Willows. The Velveteen Rabbit. There’s a longer version, but the short version is that I put her through hell with my drinking and then she got it together to contact a counselor, staged a family intervention, and in 1986 more or less saved my life.
Thanks for accepting me as I am, Mom–and, forever, for the books.