This morning I woke up and was doing my morning scroll on Instagram before getting out of bed when I came across a picture one of my favorite authors Kelly Corrigan posted of her holding someone’s hand. My eyes teared up once I realized this was not just any hand. This was the hand of her father or Greenie as I had come to know him through reading her books.
I first stumbled upon Kelly Corrigan by accident really. When I was in college I was in the bookstore, Borders I believe it was, looking for a book by the author Rebecca Wells. It was called Little Altars Everywhere and it was the prequel to one of my favorite books Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I found it and on one of those big tables with stacks of other books. Anyways, I wasn’t paying attention and when I got home I realized I had purchased The Middle Place by accident. This wasn’t an accident. It was the universe introducing me to what would become one of my favorite authors Kelly Corrigan.
I remember looooving The Middle Place for one main reason. Relatability. I could relate to so many aspects of this book and it reminded me of [insert Maryland accent here] hOOOme.
The Middle Place was set in Baltimore, Maryland; a city that I have always loved and treasured. It is the back drop to so many of my favorite memories; it was the setting for my early child hood and where I would spend most every weekend as I grew up visiting my dad. Baltimore is still a place that I one day hope to call home (seasonally of course).
It was in The Middle Place that I was first introduced to Greenie. I loved him instantly. He was a larger than life Maryland dad, a lover of lacrosse, family, and happiness. He was Kelly’s biggest fan and she was his. By the end of the book I too had become a fan of Greenie; not surprising, I hear most everyone that meets him or reads of him has the same reaction I did. You could feel the love between Kelly and Greenie every time she wrote of him in her books. Such a wonderful example of the bond between a father and a daughter.
By nature I’m an empathizer. I have this uncanny ability to understand and share people’s feelings. I’ve never personally met Kelly Corrigan or her father Greenie (although I always secretly hoped I would run into one of them at the grocery store or something) but from reading her books I feel like I’m an old family friend. This morning when I saw that Instagram post my heart broke. I mean it was just a few days ago Greenie was getting schooled by a kid in Rumikub!
JK Simmons pretty much summed it up in his Oscar acceptance speech; “Call your mom, call your dad. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call ‘em. Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them on the phone. Tell ‘em you love ‘em, and thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you. Thank you. Thank you, Mom and Dad.”
Thank you Kelly Corrigan for sharing your father Greenie with the world through your memories and books. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.