|The author (right) and his father|
I thought about all those times I sat in his study across from him, aching to ask him if he needed to tell me anything before it was too late. I’d open my mouth, but the words never formed."
By Jamie Brickhouse
When I saw the movie ”Beginners” about a 70-year-old widower who comes out like a bolt of rainbow-colored chiffon to his adult son, my husband Michael turned to me and asked, “Earl?”
Earl was my 81-year-old father.
I’m Dad’s only child, James Earl Brickhouse, junior to his senior, living proof that he and my mother had sex at least once during their 44-year marriage. My mother’s death in 2009 opened the door for us to get to know each other better, deepen our relationship and maybe trade some secrets.
I had a book-full of my secrets — literally. I was under contract to write a memoir about my alcoholism and my relationship with my mother, “Mama Jean,” as I call her in the memoir. Dad was so excited, he ended almost all our phone calls, “Hurry up and finish! I want it to come out before I die!” I almost wished he would die before it came out, so he’d never read it.