Ruptured Life Prespective

Although a new or altered perspective on life can come from small experiences—like turning on a light switch after a multiday power outage, the lasting changes tend to come from larger life events. For my dad, it came from a close call with the school of hard knocks. Continue reading


Tweets from Beyond

Tweets from Heaven As I gaze at the photo taken of my parents the week of their deaths, I imagine they’re in a Harry-Potter-esque animated photo. They’re happy and waving from the bow of the whale-watching ship. “The weather is beautiful! I saw a humpback before you! See ya soon!” Continue reading

What? Mom’s Family Never had a Turkey?

My Uncle says that my mom’s  family never had a turkey.

Doesn’t sound like devastating news, right? But to me, it is surprising.

Jack and Ellen

My mom and Uncle Jack playing.

One of the stories I’ve been told since I can remember was about my uncle and his “pet” turkey.  The story goes that a turkey imprinted on my uncle and followed him around everywhere until one day when the turkey didn’t make it all the way through the spring loaded screen door.

When he was here a week ago, I asked my uncle to fill in the turkey saga details. He claims that there was never even a turkey, much less a pet one. He doesn’t have any idea why my mother would pass on such a story. He did vaguely remember and goose and “neck snapping incident.” But the goose was no friend of his. It was begging for food as the screen door slammed shut.

He also remembered that my mother was afraid of the geese. According to my Uncle Joe, my mom bawled when the goose pecked her. In a show of four-or-five-year-old male machismo, Uncle Joe protected three-year-old mom from the assault of a goose by grabbing the goose by the neck when the goose tried to peck her.

According to my mom, my Uncle Joe cried and cried when the “turkey” died. I think I even remember some debate about whether they were going to eat him. (This was a poor family during the depression.)

So why does it matter? The stories have the same sub-text. Mom and her siblings grew up together on a farm, interacted with the animals, had adventures, and loved each other. When one of them cried, it was a noteworthy event.

© Laura Hedgecock 2013

Text Conversation

I love being able to text my teenage sons.  I can’t even imagine how my mom got through life without that luxury (although it would actually explain some of the extreme worrying….).

But there’stext conversation a couple of disadvantages to texting.  When you text, what you said is there for you to see, in black and white (or green and grey–whatever, you get my drift.)

One night, I was missing my freshman and decided to look through at all our loving conversations.  (I delete all the ones that just say OK or Can you add money?)  When I found this one, I realized that not all conversations should be memorialized (or saved…. or mentioned).

Me: Can you eat at work?

Son: idk  why?

Me: Cause I grilled pork chops, but Tucker got 2 of them. Got one back. Dad’s eating half of that one. But now I don’t have enough.

Son: lmao

Tucker is our dog. Time to switch to Snap Chat?

© Laura Hedgecock 2013

Love Notes (Post # 100)

A 100th post should be something special. Failing that, it should be about someone special.

My parents were into greeting cards. Not the Helen Steiner Rice sweet or inspirational greeting cards—they preferred funny ones or zingers. On a good day, you’d get a funny zinger. (That’s why my husband is in charge of picking out cards for his parents. My choices probably wouldn’t go over that well. )

When I get on my memory-sharing soapbox, one of my mantras is that cards and letters should be preserved because they reveal so much about daily companionship. This exemplar, a homemade card from my mother to my father does just that. It also reveals that there was the occasional snowstorm in South Carolina. (Judging from the fact that it was too bad to drive, the snow must of topped out at over ½ inch.)

Home made valetine's card

Card from my mom to my dad.

(c)Laura Hedgecock 2013


Steep driveway One spring break I was getting ready to return to college. My mom and I had agreed that I would go back to school in my dad’s car. My dad didn’t get that memo.

Not having his car keys handy to put my belongings in his trunk, I staged them behind his car.

Daddy, believing his car was blocking the other car, decided to move it. As he backed down our steep driveway, he noticed my squashed duffle bag, etc., in the driveway in front of him. Slowly it dawned on him what was happening.

I don’t remember how I figured out what had happened, but I do remember walking out looking through my things with my dad. At first, things didn’t seem so bad. My tennis racket was wrecked, but it was replaceable. One shoe was ruined, but it wasn’t my favorite. However, as we inventoried the damage, we realized that my 12-string guitar was missing.

I remember walking hand in hand with dad to look for the remains of the guitar. My heart was in my throat. Unlike the tennis racket, my guitar couldn’t simply be replaced. I loved that guitar. I didn’t want another.

I was mad at myself for leaving my guitar behind the car and mad at Daddy for not looking there. He was holding my hand to help me through the loss of my beloved instrument. I was holding his to help him assuage his guilt. Looking back, that couple of minutes—that walk of dread—crystallized our adult father-daughter relationship.

We weren’t perfect; we had made mistakes. We’d get through them by holding hands—literally and figuratively. We’d find the pieces, pick them up, and move forward.

beat up guitar case As it turned out, my guitar was caught on the undercarriage of his car and dragged down the driveway. The cardboard case was much, much worse for wear, but the guitar was intact.

Decades later that guitar has a very sturdy protective case (as does its guitar siblings), but I haven’t been able to part with the cardboard case.  It’s really not good for anything, but I love its symbolism.

(c) Laura Hedgecock 2013

Don’t forget to check out my memory sharing website:

Maternal Instinct goes AWOL

In my belief, a head cold can stop you from thinking straight. It can also undermine your parenting skills. At least, that’s my defense.

My nineteen-year-old was home from college and was couch-bound by flu. Before long, I also had a sore throat, congested sinuses, and a throbbing headache. When my son decided he needed to go to an urgent care and I gave him directions, cash, and, like a good mother, made sure he had his health insurance card.

SiriA few minutes later, he called to say the clinic was closed. “What should I do?” he asked. The good mothering left me. “Ask Siri,” I replied.

It wouldn’t be so bad if Siri hadn’t sent him to a sketchy clinic—“The Healthy Urgent Care Clinic.” If they don’t even have down the concept of {urgent care ≠ healthy}, how good can the medical care be?

© Laura Hedgecock 2013