The Day My Mother Left
When James Prosek was young his mother left his family.
Fortunately he was able to find solace in art and nature. He grew up
to become a naturalist, artist and writer. He shared his experience
of being deserted by the one most expected to be loyal in his poignant
and sensitive The Day My Mother Left.
Jeremy's parents do a lot of fighting. His mom has started
doing strange and disturbing things...acting like she does when she's
drinking too much. There's more to the story though. Jeremy's
mother, feeling neglected by her husband, is having an affair with his
worst enemy's dad. They run away together.
Jeremy is deserted by the rest of his family although in less
tangible ways. His father is caught in a prison of pain and regret.
His older sister, Julie, is off with friends much of the time. Jeremy
has reason to believe that she sees their mother. He wonders why he
doesn't get to.
As time goes by Jeremy copes the best he can with his mother's
loss and complications like his father's romance and marriage.
Fortunately he is able to find some measure of comfort in drawing
birds, (the book jacket drawings were done by Prosek at his age),
exploring the woods around his home, and spending time with his
beloved Uncle John. Slowly he grows up physically and emotionally.
This is one of the most real feeling coming of age stories I've
ever read. It may help kids going through the loss of a parent or
other loved one see that they're not the only one. I highly recommend
it to school guidance counselors.
On a personal note, I am not coping well at all with the impending
loss of my regional school unit as we break up into three stand alone
towns. Our last board meeting is June 19 and I have no idea how I
will get through it without shedding a few tears (not at all vice
chair behavior). Especially since I know that I'll insist on
acknowledging the board members, admin, teachers, and community
members who have been my colleagues four years and what a privilege
and honor it has been to be numbered among them. I keep having
nightmares about what will happen and wake up with my pillow wet.
Even thinking about it abstractly brings tears to my eyes.
A great big shout out goes out to my treasured RSU colleagues. God,
will I miss you!
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod