Meet the Parent

The most surprising thing about my mother’s death has been getting to know my dad.
Meet The Parent
DADDY’S GIRL: My father and me in the living room of our San Antonio home in 1956.

When my mother died last year, she left behind my 82-year-old father, whom, I have to say, I was extremely fond of but did not know very well. This situation had something to do with the typical American family structure of the baby boom years—Dad works, Mom stays home, kids vanish into TV land after six o’clock—and something to do with the peculiar structure of our own family, which I can best describe this way: A few years ago, I went to a lecture by a Jungian analyst, who urged us to map out our family as if it were a solar system. I drew an enormous sun with the rest of us orbiting around it, small planets at varying distances from my mother. Suffice it to say that since her death, the

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