Inspiration Point, Idyllwild Ca

Inspiration Point. Idyllwild, Ca.

Today is the anniversary of my father’s death. Maurice W. Black MD.

It may be the 4th or 5th year. Try not to think about it. The obituary says the January 7th, but I believe it was actually the 6th.
I couldn’t bear to attend your funeral for several reasons. Staggering guilt, sadness and abrupt bouts of tears overwhelmed each day. Never seeing your grave was a constant mental blow to my heart and conscience. Finally, after several years and with the help of counselling I’m alright with that. There is no guilt nor even one reason to visit the cemetery. You are gone forever. that grave is cold stone.
When the phone rang with the news of your sudden and  unexpected death I immediately flew into LA from Reno. The other 2 of our immediate family were there and insanity reigned. My half-sister loved you, despite spending  time and money proving that she was not your daughter. I’m so happy that you never found out. Your wife, my step-mother, loved you too.

They both took control. My words and wishes were meaningless. Watching my step-mother and sister casually disposing of your things, going through your closet and items held dear while you were lifeless in the morgue. When my step-mother’s children arrived I was asked to sleep under the dining room table. This was to allow one of my step-mother’s children to take the bedroom. Their decision to bury your body in California and not in the family plot in Pennsylvania Then the selfishness shown in deciding the time of the funeral was preposterous. Well it couldn’t be in the morning because my sister and step-mother’s shoes would get wet from the dew. Jesus I thought you would never be laid to rest.
If they had made a credible and faster decision you would at least have been able to roll over in your grave.
My half-sister making sure that all of the Black family possessions went with her. Her excuse later was that she had it for ‘safekeeping.’ From what?! She wasn’t even a Black. An excuse to get her way and belittle myself, life, and feelings. Innuendos were made, lies were spread. Why? You would have told them to shut the hell up and knock off the nasty bullshit gossiping.
It was an indisputable fact that the Knabe piano went to me. Dad we shared the passion for music and the beautiful piano. No one could deny that one thing to me. The circus in your beloved Idyllwild mountain home was literally unhinged. After a desperate phone call to a good friend I fled the vultures. Dad, you would not have stood for that fatuousness either. It was an atrocity and there was no reason to continue feeling forced to participate. So I missed your funeral. Know that you understand.

My father was the only person in my life that encouraged me to go where life took me. Music and not Medicine, Life and not fleeting Love, Happiness and not Hopelessness. When I was finally willing, sobriety and not self-destruction.

At the age of 40 I wanted to end my current career as a successful businesswoman and musician; to go to Med School. He gave me the down and dirty about life in the medical field today. He convinced me that 20 years ago (when I graduated from college) it would have been the right choice… but no longer. God that conversation became hilarious. A great memory.

I miss you dad. You gave me my love for learning. For history, travel, gourmet food but most of all music. From Classical to Show Tunes to Big Band. To learn how to play the piano, to find my own path, and all with unwavering love and support.

The last night of your life you called me. I didn’t call back, opting to call back the next day. Hate the phone, and email. So did you. Our conversation every week was an exception.
By the next morning you were already dead of a massive stroke; on your way to help others. At the age of 75 you still went to work every day to head the county mental health division. You didn’t need to work.

Doing my best not to dwell on the events that occurred upon your passing.
Only that you loved me the most. Being the favorite was my blessing from you. I loved you the same way.

~Miss R


  1. That’s beautiful. And also beautiful that every time you play a note, he is right there with you because of the love and encouragement.

    Godspeed, and thank you for sharing your wonderful daughter, Mr. Black.


  2. I relate to this more than you know. I can tell your dad was a cool guy. It’s interesting because I just read another post on the very same subject–same anniversary, maybe a day later. And that anniversary just went by here too, only it happened 26 years ago. It never stops sucking.


    • Bear you are so correct. I t NEVER stops sucking. Good thoughts for you my friend.
      We may feel less pain after the first year,,, but it never ends. Ever.
      Truly, as I’m sure you know, we think of our parents every day. And the good, bad, ugly and hopefulness they passed on.
      Be Well.


  3. I am only 19 & 12 years down the pike, but yes, losing the rents does still suck, even if I have replacement parents.

    Glad you are celebrating the good and remembering him for the love he had for you. Good on you.


    • Much love to you Red, and to the memories you still hold of your parents. You must have been quite young, as were they, Cannot imagine losing both so early.
      They gave you a gift of strength, talent, empathy and love.
      Good on you too my friend -smile-.


    • Good thoughts to you Don. It must have been so difficult watching and waiting for an entire day. Don’t know how people have the ability to deal with such a thing.

      My father passed in minutes. His vehicle plowed into a fence because the force of the stroke killed him instantly.
      Think I’d like to go that way. Fast. Not like the passengers screaming in the back of dad’s truck….
      okay sorry. just couldn’t help throwing that gruesome old joke in. one of the first things I thought of. Trust me, got my sense of humor from Dad too -wicked smile-.

      Be well Don, and may all of your memories be lightened with humor and the best of the past.


    • Thank you SIG. He was, and is missed by many more people than just myself. He would have loved your art!
      Dad looked at art, music and literature with the wonder of a child, delighting in anything new. He was quite vocal about what he didn’t like as well heh.
      He was always searching, looking learning. His taste would have drawn him to each of your pieces I’ve seen so far.
      And my father put his money where his mouth was. the house was filled with art by artists well-known and those never heard of. It was all so wonderful.

      When Zombie Ed McMahon knocks on the door with the check there are a few of your pieces that would look kick-ass in my house -grin-.


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