||Recently, I came across two separate memoirs from my parents, and as different as they are in form, they both send me hurtling back through the years. One was my mom’s “Daily Diary” from back in 1954; the other was a farewell note my dad left me. While we lost Dad over forty years ago, Mom is still spry and currently lives with my family. She’s an avid Facebook user and often drops tidbits of wisdom on her many Facebook friends.
For those of you who are baby-boomers, I felt like you could relate to both pieces. As for you younger readers, there are some beliefs and practices that tend to transcend generational timelines, and I just hope these written treasures from my parents can make you smile.
A little background is in order. I was born in October of 1951 to Marc and Hazel Megahee at Emory University Hospital in Decatur, Georgia. Dad was an orphan from Coolidge, Georgia, who grew up in the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home and struggled through numerous jobs, a stint in the Army, and college before enrolling in dental school at Emory. There he met Mom, the former Hazel Ruth Davis, a lovely young nurse from South Georgia. One thing led to another, they married, and settled into the difficult life of married students in what was lovingly called “Mudville” on the Emory University campus.
After I was born, Mom quit her job and became a full-time mom. A year later, my brother Davy came along and we were, I’m told, “all boys.” The first treasure of memoirs from my parentsher “Daily Diary”was written during this period. She wanted to make sure Dad knew she was putting in a full day watching the boys while he was off studying and working.
After graduation from Emory, Dad set up a dental practice in Warner Robins and bought a home on Dewey Street. From that little house, Mom and Dad set about raising us and our new little sister, Laura. Part of being kids in Warner Robins during this time (and probably everywhere else) was the rage of camping out in the backyard. We were no exception and our first adventure with camping out is captured in “The Camping Parachute” (www.southernreader.com/SouthRead12.11.html).
My brother Davy was killed in a rifle accident in 1963 just before his twelfth birthday.
When I was a senior in high school, Dad experienced a severe heart attack. He was hospitalized for weeks and it was hard on all of us, emotionally and financially. His doctor told him his heart was severely damaged and it would only be a matter of time before the next attack killed him. Shortly after that, he sat down with a pad of paper and a bottle of Scotch and wrote letters to everyone he cared aboutto be delivered after his death. The second treasure of memoirs from my parents was his farewell letter to me.
Dad’s favorite book was “Doctor Hudson’s Secret Journal.” He loved what he learned in that book and practiced it until the end of his life. In February of 1971, Dad suffered his second and fatal attack.
I hope these two memoirs from Mom and Dad, along with “The Camping Parachute,” make you laugh and give you a sense of the personalities of the two amazing souls who brought me into this world and made it a better place for many others.
Kim Megahee wasn’t born in Atlanta, but he got there as quick as he could. His stories include a science fiction novel about time-travel, murder, and a doomed love affair.