Cary Grant, whom I don't think anyone who is a true friend of mine doesn't know was a true friend of mine-- how could you not want people to know?-- told me "Hate will keep you alive longer than love will." As I may have written, his own mother didn't love him. How is it possible? She wanted him to dye his hair because his going gray made her look old.
Anyway, he told me that about hate as I waited-- not idly,-- I contributed to my own living, and my children's, and kept it all afloat-- but hopefully, for what would come to me when my inheritance from my father, the Mayor of Tucson, (a Republican no less) came through. But for that, my stepmother, Selma, the hardest thing since cement, had to go.
It finally happened this autumn. She was 98. My mother met Selma when Mom, Helen, was having her career as a social director, and Selma and her first husband were staying in the hotel where Helen worked. At one point in her marriage Selma had cut all her husband's ties into hundreds of pieces, and Helen knew about that. So she was sure Selma would kill Lew, my father, whom Helen was divorcing, and introduced them. Instead, when they married, which they did, Selma took this fairly failed man to Arizona to deal with her allergies. There, Lew found a new career as a realtor, subdivided the desert and made it bloom, became a Republican, and then Mayor.
Mel Brooks, whom I had the joy of calling friend, said "A man goes to Tucson in the desert, and says "Who's the Mayor?" They tell him:"Nobody." He says: "I'm the Mayor."
I don't hold Selma in non-eseteem for no reason. My cousin Ruth-Anne, a Gandhi among women, a music teacher who gave scholarship lessons to all the gifted blacks in Pittsburgh, was ill and destitute at the end of her life and called on the Davises, by now of Tucson, for help, which they did not give. Selma called me and said, in clipped Brooklynese: "I have bad news. Ruth died. I believe she took her own life." End.
So I less than grieved when Selma left, at very long last. But writing of this in what is likely the ass end of my days is a waste of mental energy. Still, as Cary was likely wise about many things, it is probably good I hold some bad feelings.