Compiled and edited by Susan Clawson, Parent/Stories:Without Judgement is a collection of stories dealing with difficult family relationships and resolving difficult issues. My story: "Hope Deferred" is a memoir of my time growing up in the early '70s with my recently widowed father. As a senior, four years into the high school drug culture, I was busted with six of my friends. How my father and I worked to relate to one another during these troubling times is the crux of the story.
Jeffrey gives an overview of the book:
That afternoon, after school, I had made a detour to my friend, Curtis' house, when Dad called on the phone. He wanted me home right away. I was puzzled when I got there. For him to be home in the afternoon was strange and that he was the only one home was stranger still. He was tanned and fit for a man of fifty-six. He had short black hair, now graying at the temples and wore black and silver glasses that only faintly hid the anguish in his eyes. HIs voice cracked as he explained to me that mother had collapsed and was on life support in the local hospital.
I'm not certain what happened to me at that moment. I detached, I suppose. Mother had always been the dominant force in our house. Now dad wrapped his arms around me and I sensed he was on the verge of losing that reliable, steady composure that was his hallmark. At fourteen, I was unprepared for his sudden needs. My mother's absence... and the thought of losing her entirely... left me in shock. That Dad loved me, I knew. And I him; but our interaction had been faint and reserved. He worked long hours in the city and when he was at home his nature had always been quiet and unassuming.
And now this. It was the fall of 1967.
Hanging out in late midlife, contemplating one's place in the World. I've been many things, worked alot of jobs, moved around much. I'm interested in the Big Questions of life and how people cope with those questions. The life I have lived and the people I write about tend to...