Thinking about my mom

February 25, 2011 1:33:03 PM PST
There are some things that haunt us, deep down. They're not the stuff of Stephen King, but the personal, what's the word? Demons or troubling thoughts or worries or whatever that gnaw at us, are ours alone for the most part.

Those "whatevers" are gnawing at me today.

My mother's father died before she reached her 18th birthday, and so, as I approached my 18th birthday, the background noise in my head was fear, fear that my father would die before I turned 18.

It was irrational, of course, and I knew that even as a 17-year-old. But I felt it. It didn't overwhelm me, but it was a constant drumbeat, deep down.

And so it is that as I prepare to celebrate a birthday, I hear the drumbeat again.

I'm about to turn the age my mother was when she died.

It's irrational, of course, to tie too much significance to it. But I find myself a bit fragile over the notion.

Birthdays never focus on the parents, especially the mom, but I've always thought (and certainly thought it more since I became a parent) that mothers ought to celebrate their child's birthdays as much as the child does. A huge day for her as well. And so I'm thinking about my mom. Thinking about what she put into the creature she conceived and birthed and raised. Thinking about the three grandchildren she never got to see. And, yes, thinking about the quiet and deep drumbeat turning the age that my mom was when she got sick and then quickly died.

With that as prelude, on to the 11 p.m. newscast.

Weather's a big deal tonight and it's not about snow. At least not tonight. High winds are the problem and they're potentially dangerous. Meteorologist Lee Goldberg leads our coverage tonight tracking the winds and rain tonight, and the snow flurries that are moving in this weekend. We're also out in the field, monitoring any trees or power lines downed.

Also at 11, we'll have the latest from the Middle East, where protests have drawn hundreds of thousands. And the situation in Libya drags on, this as the U.S. imposes sanctions, flies its personnel out, and as Americans have finally arrived in Malta after a much-delayed and, from what we hear, nauseating boat ride from Tripoli.

Meanwhile, the fallout from the chaos in Libya is affecting the economy and our wallets. Oil trading in New York settled today at $98.13 a barrel, a dramatic 14% increase in just four days of trading this week. And it's all because of Libya.

The run up in prices translates to a huge increase at the pump ? above $4 a gallon in most parts of our area (please call me when you see the so-called average price of mid $3.)

Tonight, our N.J. Burkett takes a closer look at what $4 a gallon means to our pocketbooks and to the economy, and what $5 a gallon would look like.

Nina Pineda tonight has a story about a grieving widow who gets ripped off by a hearst driver who had convinced her he could handle the funeral arrangements. He didn't. So the woman called Nina and got 7 On Your Side to help get her money back.

We'll also have the latest on Charlie Sheen the actor who just can't help himself anymore. Every time you think it's impossible for him to get himself in more trouble, he does something that buries his career even deeper. His out-of-no-where trashing of his hit TV show's creator, Chuck Lorre, whose real name apparently is Charles Levine. Sheen used that name in his rant on a radio talk show in what some say was slightly anti-Semitism. He called Levine "Chaim" (his Hebrew name). Strange coming from Sheen, whose "real name" is Carlos Estevez. My thoughts went to Sheen's dad, Martin, a great actor who has stood by his son. What must he be thinking, as his son tears down everyone around him, and ensures that the show that pays him $1.2 million an episode is cancelled for the season?

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Rob Powers, in Florida for spring training, with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.


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