Sunday, May 13, 2012

Kerouacian thoughts on Mother's Day

Jack Kerouac with sister Nin, mother Gabrielle, and father Leo, 1944
I was just reading all the Mother's Day posts on Facebook, and it struck me that one of the criticisms often leveled at Jack Kerouac - that he lived with his mother for most of his adult life - could also be seen as a character strength. When Jack's father Leo was dying of stomach cancer in 1946, his dying words to Jack were, "Take care of your mother whatever you do. Promise me."

Whether we agree with how he did that for the next 26 years (until his own death at age 47), Jack gave it his best shot. Admittedly, Gabrielle ended up taking care of Jack as much or more than vice versa, but there's no doubt in my mind that Jack loved his mother.

That seems to be all that mothers want on their special day: to know they are loved.

Happy Mother's Day.

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