This Memorial Day, I'm remembering two relatives who each served in one of the 20th century's two world wars.
April is poetry month, and although there are many famous and fabulous poets to acknowledge and praise, I want share a poem my father wrote. Dad loved to write poetry. Dad was sensitive, and his poems allowed him to express himself in words that might have been hard to call up in speech.
Charles Schultz wrote two memorable square-shaped little "Peanuts" books in which each page expressed a single, simple thought about love or happiness. You can click to see these classics on Amazon: Love is Walking Hand in Hand and Happiness is a Warm Puppy. Well, I think my mom's following diary entries of falling for my dad could add something to those books:
At West End and Keeler Avenues in Chicago's West Garfield Park, an elliptical blue-green dome rises above the surrounding bungalows and two-flats. It is the pinnacle of Bethel Church, a symbol of community and an anchor to this neighborhood for 125 years.
When an assassin felled Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4th 1968, it was not just the murder of the greatest leader of the Civil Rights Movement, it was the murder of hope for so many of our country's African American citizens.
My grandmother's madness seemed to come about suddenly, based on what I read in my mother's diaries. It was clear to me, however, that Grandma K (for Koroschetz) always displayed what today we'd call "anger management" issues. In Redlined, I write about my maternal grandmother's slide into serious mental illness, just a couple months before my parents were to marry. Was it a coincidence that Mom's mother started down the road to paranoia and psychosis just before she lost her only daughter to marriage?
Alcoholism. Psychosis. Strange men renting our bedrooms: these were just some of the stressors my mother had to handle alone when my Dad traveled hundreds of miles away for up to seven weeks every winter. This Women's History Month, I honor her grit, even if I question the choices of both my parents!
Celebrating Women's history month, I'd like to introduce you to an extraordinarily artistic and talented woman: my mother’s mother, Alöisia Koroschetz, née Woschkeruscha (VAUSH-ker-UZH-uh). (She was nicknamed Luisa in Austria, Louise, in America. My mom and I both share the same middle name, after my maternal grandmother).