This week on SHLTMM Podcast, my mother needed more support that my father was able to give. My guest, Rich Fireman, shares stories of his mother Clare. At times her attentiveness was overbearing. Rich as a young teen was anticipating his opportunity to leave home and go off to college.
Clare was born in New York City yet her parents were originally from Ukraine. Rich is a very warm and caring son. Looking back, Rich would like to have asked his mom "what she was so worried about all the time."
Looking back, my guest also has regrets for his mom's lack of happiness and wellbeing. As a teen he was more concerned with himself than the welfare of his mom. In hindsight, he wishes she had taken better care of herself- had more friends, etc.
As a young girl, Clare's mother, Rich's maternal grandmother, put a lot of pressure on Clare to practice her music. Clare was a phenomenal concert pianist. She studied piano from a young age and within a few years she suddenly quit playing the piano, defiant to her mother's constant nagging.
Rich's mom was overprotected and as he says "kind of spoiled." Interestingly enough, Clare was overprotected by her own mother and then did something similar to her only son. Rich refers to it as a "constant hovering." As a result, Rich created his own internal world or a world of imagination which he found at the library and through books.
A college professor recognized that Rich showed some true talent in his poetry and encouraged him to pursue it. Today, Rich is a poet and has almost one hundred poems published in the Monmouth Review (Monmouth University) and two in the International Journal of Poetry Therapy and several in other literary publications.
Twenty years since his mom's death, he looks back fondly on his memories of his mom . His memories don't rattle him as much now. He's embracing the whole picture of her life and not just the last five years that she endured Alzheimer's.
Poem#1 The Science of Medicine
Poem #2 Bringing In The Tide
Richard's forthcoming book of poetry "Constellations" due to be published late 2022.
"Constellations are our attempt to make sense of the universe.
We create patterns in the sky, trying to understand what God might mean,
and write our stories as if we knew.
These poems are my constellations. The words are stars.
May their light be a guide to find your way home."
- Richard Fireman