"Untimely" "unexpected" "too soon" . . . none of it makes any sense.
One thing I can say is this past week, in the aftermath, as my cousins and my aunts and my sisters and my mom and I have been sharing and reminiscing and coming to grips and trying to process -- at first among ourselves and then slightly more publicly -- we have agreed that we've all known one side -- or even several sides -- of Mary. Funny. Smart. Fun. Funny. Did I mention funny? That laugh. But what's come to light is this whole other side -- the wildly respected and adored AP English teacher side -- and it has just made us love her even more.
So off we go to celebrate. And to cry and to laugh -- because that's what we blubbering Irish-side-of-the-family do. We blubber, we cry, and we laugh and laugh.
And I think there's no better way to illustrate the side of Mary that has come to light than to share one of her former student's pieces about her -- without his permission, incidentally. It's excellent, and I'm thankful it's out there, and I'm happy to further spread it around.
Mary Flatley made me love Shakespeare. Mary Flatley made me love Edna
St. Vincent Millay. Mary Flatley made me at least try to love Faulkner.
Mary Flatley made me love words and the power they have and the way you
feel when you use them.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
We miss you, Mary. Table 11 will never be the same.
Every time it happens, The Onion posts the same headline. It's a thing, it is now familiar, yet it still goes viral every time. It hits close to home, all of this does. It hurts. These are our fucking kids, our lives. Our reality.
We thought we were getting somewhere after Parkland, when students around the world felt empowered and inspired by the way their Florida peers were standing up.
SANTA FE, TX—In the hours following a violent rampage in Texas in which a lone attacker killed eight individuals and seriously injured several others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Friday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said Ohio resident Erica Webb, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep this individual from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what they really wanted.” At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past eight years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.”
When Jacquie and her young'uns come to visit our fair shores every summer, they and their Uncle Schleckah wander off from Ocean Beach to the rocks at Neptune Park, and have themselves a righteous photo shoot.
I know, right? The awesomeness of it almost makes one want to keel over into a heap of love.
This photo has officially made it onto the walls of the Ledgie Loo.
Honestly. Could you die?
2009: Well, we, as a giant family, went to the Poconos to celebrate Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary. So, no OB that year, but we made up for it in sheer joy at Pocmont.
But, the very next year . . .
The hand on the leg? I die.
Not even an Olympic year. Still, I die.
Uncle Mistah Schleckah can talk them into anything.
Goodbye, 2011 . . .
. . . and hello . . .
Oooh, the John H behind them!
There's not a lot we can depend on in this big bad world . . .
. . . but we still have these two knuckleheads to save the day.
I rode my bike over to join the fellas for their second run . . .
. . . and our friend Tidge seemed quite delighted that somebody, finally, was getting the rocks out of her yard for her.
Those rocks have been in her yard, next to her newly-built and delightful rock wall, for approximately one million years.
Thumbs up is right, Tidgie.
We brought cans of Modelo because, for godssake people, we are a civilized bunch.
I call this one: "The Rocks, the Magnolia, the Fellas, and Me."
Back home during the second unload I got distracted by all the things that Sunday wanted me to do, but the second load got unloaded via wheelbarrow, weeds got pulled, beers got drunk, burritos got inhaled, Louis went home to his wife and his life, rain fell and fell and fell, temperatures dropped, and we were left with . . .
We discussed the meme at brunch on Sunday, and I told Missy in no uncertain terms that if she nominated me, I’d ignore her.
Naturally, on Monday morning, I saw this:
“Post the art from 10 albums (one each day) which impacted you, without comment, and nominate someone else to do this”. - Day 7 I nominate Jacquie just because😜
To which I promptly replied:
Because you know I'm not going to do it? K. I've enjoyed yours though!
And I *had* enjoyed hers, and many of the many, many others who’d been posting album covers.
And I *had* been impacted by albums in my life, quite majorly really. The more I thought about it, the longer the virtual list became, inside my fool head.
So Missy, I’m not going to ignore you! And I’m not going to follow the rules, though. I’m posting it here, and I’m not nominating anyone ot follow suit unless they feel like it. Oh, and I’m not limiting myself to ten.
Once upon a glass or twelve of wine, Jacquie and Beth and Ellie got to talking. We decided that we were all enormously smart and clever and hilarious, and that it would be a crime not to share our unique talents with the world. We decided to start a blog together.
We needed a name, so Jacquie asked Beth: “What should we call a blog about meand you and Ellie?” And the rest, as they say, is history. We are having a blast writing this thing, and if there was any trepidation that we were only smart and clever and hilarious that night because of all the wine, our words here thus far have succinctly affirmed our mutual self-admiration.
What are you reading?
Ellie - Middlemarch, George Eliot. Finally
Jacquie - The Nightingale, Kristen Hannah
Beth - Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal by Julie Metz