My Mother's Catfish Stew

7/4/2020


My Mother's Catfish Stew

John T. Edge, an author based in Oxford, MS wrote a heartfelt essay about the things we hand down, and the things we take with us. Viewing through the lens of his relationship with his mother, Edge paints a picture of heartbreak and a struggle to come to terms with with his mother's alcoholism and the town he grew up in:

The country unmade my mother. And it nearly unmade me. On the other side of the azaleas, beyond the clearing, threats real and imagined lurked. Years would pass before I connected the country where my mother went haywire to the country where burglars crouched in the woods. But I knew from the time I was a teenager that I wanted to leave Clinton and those woods behind. Even as I longed to carry the best of my mother forward.

Edge brings us to present times, as his son prepares to go to college, and asking himself if he has given his son all he could. The author draws us to a print he bought by Alberto Cruz.

For his eighteenth birthday, Blair and I gave Jess an Alberto Cruz lithograph we bought on impulse, after a boozy dinner in Oaxaca, Mexico. It shows a young boy trudging forward under the burden of a house strapped to his body like a backpack. With that gift, which we hope he will hang in his dorm room this fall, Blair and I aimed to say, No matter where you go, your home and your little family will go with you. And, No matter the future struggles you face, what you gained under our roof will carry you forward. 

Read the full essay here.

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