Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 07:27:49 EDT
Subject: Mindwalkers – Seventeen
(Booth Tarkington’s Seventeen, one of the books Mom read aloud to her kids as we washed & dried dishes)
I keep looking at a photo that Elsa copied and framed and put on the hutch cabinet next to where I sit for most of the day. It is a formal yearbook photo of Pete taken when he was around 17 in his last year at Harrisburg Academy.
When I look at it, my maternal feelings make me want to put my arms around him and tell him everything will be all right. He just looks so vulnerable.
Pete’s adored mother, Lillian, died when he was 13 or 14, after a lingering illness, following a stillborn birth.
Imagine how close a mother and only child would be.
Heaping unimaginable heartbreak on top of the tragedy of losing his mother, his father remarried in just over a year; Pete’s step-mother was the woman with whom his father carried on a long-term relationship ~ including while his mother, Lillian, was alive. (Pete always believed that the cause of his beloved mother’s death was a broken heart ~ she just gave up.)
When Pete was given his choice of prep schools, including Haverford, he chose Harrisburg Academy. It was far enough away that no one would expect him to come home over weekends.
It is not surprising, given his background, that his view of an effective family was based on stability and caring support rather than big salaries and fancy fittings.
When he fell in love with me, his step-mother told me she was so glad that I was going to marry Pete because he was starving for love.
Well, he got it, alright! It war a pleasure.
Give a loved one an extra hug for me tonight – Pete’s Own True Love
reposted in sweet memory of its author, KATHARINE REYNOLDS LOCKHART, by her scribe/daughter, Elsa Lockhart Murphy aka Deev, in celebration of the 05/14/10 centenary of Pete’s Own True Love’s centenary