Monday, August 21, 2017


Today's date, my brother's birthday, is burned in my mind.

My  brother, David Frankel, was the only male child in my father's family,  the one child who could carry on the family name. He drowned in a boating accident a few months before his 19th birthday. He was a freshman at Antioch college just beginning to figure out what he wanted to be and do. And he never got a chance to drive the second-hand convertible he bought. I wrote about this and how his death affected me and my family in "Spiffy Cadillac Cars."

As I say his name, I think of my mother, how she loved him, celebrated him, lived through the ups and downs in her life, and helped me -- never stopped helping me and being there for me -- how she gave me her strength. I celebrate her birthday every September in "My Mom's Birthday."

Mom and David are gone, but are part of what makes my mind wander  here-and-there, find significance in the many things that are changing, and write-talk about them -- about the sense that I have that the future is mile-a-minute coming in around me, and I am racing into what the earth will be like when I am gone.

David and Em

Yes, people who are gone have shaped you, and made you what you are right  this minute.


Celebrating them keeps them very much alive and present  in your life. Celebrating them is celebrating YOU. Thanks, Mom, I celebrate David's birthday today, Mom, for us.


Carola said...

Such wonderful pictures!

Shar said...

Thank you for sharing this personal, heart-wrenching and heart-warming story, Emily. Your mom was adorable - clearly can see the resemblance! Her picture on your blog is in front of some of the words, but I totally get the gist of what you're saying there.

kitjoegia said...

How lovely to remember your brother in this way incorporated with you Mothers memory.It would have been painful for her and you Em take care xx

Unknown said...

This is so touching ❤❤❤