Embalming Mom: Essays in Life (Sightline Books) by Janet Burroway

By Janet Burroway

In 16 essays of wit, rage, and reconciliation, Embalming mother chronicles loss and renaissance in a existence that reaches from Florida to Arizona throughout to England and residential back. Burroway brilliantly weaves her manner during the hazards of everyday life - divorcing her first husband, elevating boys, setting up a brand new lifestyles, scattering her mother's ashes, and sorting the meager possessions of her father. each one new chance and problem highlights the tenacious will of the physique and spirit to heal.

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I complained about it to my evening host, who came up with bourbon, real estate agents, brownies, commiseration, more bourbon, more brownies, and advice. Try the south side, the west side. I was born in the southwest, and I knew the meaning of low-rent. Northern Florida? On the southwest side the manager’s wife showed me into a spacious stuccoed room with sliding doors onto a blue tiled pool (Oh Mom! said my elder son, Tim, when he arrived. It’s love at first sight). The jacarandas nodded at the door.

As I signed the contract and wrote a bad check for the deposit in her Hummel-encrusted living room, I remembered that I had not inspected the stove. It was electric. I bought a coil-trivet for my Belgian coffee pot, which arrived by Mayflower along with the rest of the paraphernalia of an ongoing life, and I came, by Mayflower, over to the pilgrim’s life. The violent August sky-fire gave way to violent September sky-water. The boys arrived. Classes began. The season muted to a mild sifting of pine needles and leaf-scented balm.

I will tease them on my deathbed, having had my humor and my irony restored by so many years as a member of the Loss Rowbulls Neighborhood Association. Well, I will tell them: lock the car doors and turn off the gas. Ordinary life is more dangerous than war because nobody survives. You gotta lose, but an azalea bush in the hand is just two frogs short of safe and sound. I don’t expect them to be mystified. Embalming . . . . . . . Mom ....................................................... “ I want to put you in a story,” I say.

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