Betty and Bryan Forever.

Betty and Bryan Forever.

I’m 55 and blessed to have both of my parents, nobody has to remind me of that. But somewhere along the way, I’ve put them on the same level as my people, what most folks would call my characters. My people come to me fully formed, with a story to tell.

They talk a mile a minute and to be completely honest, they write the book for me, I’m simply the typist. The thing about them is, for the most part, they never get old and SPOILER ALERT, they never die.

To me, my parents are sort of wrapped in the warm cocoon of their own stories, not in a Bill Murray/Groundhog Day sort of way, but they’re 84 and 82, in reasonably good health, and like my characters…I wish.

I know I’ve been talking about things some folks might label fluffy or superficial lately, and I’m not trying to be morbid here. I think I need to write this blog so that I know it’s okay to feel scared. To feel like a child but have to act like a responsible adult. I honestly don’t know what to do with this feeling of inevitability. I’m a reasonably smart woman who’s weathered a lot of tough storms, but this is different.

If my parents were my people, they would live forever, although Mom says she wouldn’t want that with all her aches and pains. My dad wouldn’t have Alzheimer’s and he certainly wouldn’t be having tests today. He’d be fishing on the bank of the pond at their condo complex teaching little kids how to watch the end of the pole and be patient, just like he taught me.

Even if today goes well, I know Alzheimer’s will come for him one day and no matter how smart or clever I am, no matter how good I am in a crisis, I won’t be able to stop it. Maybe that’s why I write fiction. Real life is just too damn scary. 

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About Kim Boykin

Kim Boykin learned about women and their hair in her mother’s beauty shop in a tiny South Carolina town. She loves to write stories about strong Southern women, because that’s what she knows. Kim is an accomplished public speaker and serves on the board of the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, three dogs, and 126 rose bushes.
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  1. I enjoyed your message and I know how you feel. I am now 67 but I can remember the loss of my parents just like it was yest. I lost both of them withing 2 mos of each other with 2mo. stay in hosp. each so I lost the whole spring and summer of that year as I stayed with them most of the time. They were my parents but also my best friends, but after grieving for a short time I realized that they are not suffering any more and they are in a better place than I am in this crazy world and I will see them again. The strange thing is making new traditions and being the old folks now. That is a strange feeling. God bless you as you go through this stage of your life. I work for a co. called Coastal Companion in Southport, NC and we place aides in homes of people who need some help. This is wonderful for families. I wish I had done that for my parents, but I did not know.

    We have a son who has written a best selling novel. His name is Wiley Cash and his novel is A Land More Kind Than Home. He has been on his paperback book tour during the month of Feb. We were just in Char. with him for his tour on the 9th. He is blessed with his book being one of the notable books of 2012 by NYTimes and he won the John Creasy Blood Dagger award in London, England . Won’t bore you with his other achievments, but knew as an author you may want to know. You are talented and I wish you good luck with your writing. God bless!!

    • Kim Boykin says:

      Hi Sandi,
      Thanks for sharing about your parents. I feel the same way you do about my parents and really can’t imagine life without them. They are so close that I’m afraid that when one goe the other one won’t be far behind, but maybe that’s the way it should be. They’ve certainly earned that after 62 years of marriage.

      Feel free to brag away about your son, I sure would if I were you. Wylie’s book is in my stack of to read stuff when I go to the beach (Isle of Palms near Charleston) the week my book comes out (3/5) and I’m looking forward to it. I’m so proud of him and any Southerner who makes it onto the bestselling/awards lists. Some folks don’t think we’re very smart, but they sure don’t mind listening to our stories.

      Thanks for your kind words and encouragement and for reminding me how lucky I am to have both my parents.It takes the sting out of the scary thoughts of losing them.


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