My Mother’s Voice

Alzheimer’s being the conniving thieving bitch that  it is, my mother wasn’t herself in the final years of her life. The  woman I visited in the Alzheimer’s special care unit was a stranger wearing my mother’s skin but not much else, like the invasion of the body snatchers had taken place, month after month beneath the surface, until one day we looked and the woman we knew was gone, replaced by some alien being. An imposter. Intruder alert. Intruder alert. She died back in 2012. Don’t worry; I won’t be getting maudlin on you.  My real mother–not that stranger in a wheel chair, head nodding on her shoulder–is who I want to think about today.  My real mother —Enid Maude Good nee Hayden, a prim, old-fashioned name, perhaps the only thing about her I didn’t love— was British-born and had a lovely London lilt to her voice her whole life even though she left England in the mid-1950’s. I suppose at thirty, her vocal patterns were already frozen in place.  Sounding like a cross between

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Speaking of Bernard Cooper

Updated:  Bernard Cooper was doing personal essays so long, long ago... back in the day when english teachers and editors all said stay away from "I".

I remember reading "Maps to Anywhere" and feeling that I had found my personal compass rose. I lost my way somewhere on my writing journey and when a friend suggested she'd prefer to see my pieces, based on my life, as short stories, to see my life 'fictionalized', and I set to writing short stories that all grew out of my reality.  


They didn't just lack imagination, they lacked realism. I'm back to struggling with memoir, even if it does feel like a whole lot of me, the me feels authentic and true. That's the goal anyway. 



The link takes you to Vimeo and a reading by Cooper from The Bill from my Father: A Memoir

For some of my personal essays start here

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