Sunday, April 6, 2008

Chucky Baby Aka Charlton Heston Is Gone

In my childhood home, Charlton Heston was affectionately known as Chucky Baby. My mother, who was not prone to fan-crushes on celebrities, could not hide her admiration for the glistening Ben-Hur so she gave him a nickname that spoke volumes.

In the mid-1980's, as my mother lay in the hospital recovering from a brain aneurysm, I bought her a Charlton Heston photo book as a joke, hoping it would cheer her up. Unfortunately, her memory had been damaged so, as she flipped through the pages she said, "I don't understand. Why would I want this?"

It was one of the saddest moments of my life.

In the weeks that followed, much of her memory returned but she passed away before I had the chance to ask her if she recalled the Chucky Baby moniker.

For over twenty years, I have continued to call him Chucky Baby even though my mother is no longer with us. Last night, when my husband told me the news of Heston's death, I said, "No, not Chucky Baby?!" I was sad for him. I was sad for her.

I will continue the Chucky Baby tradition for as long as my memory will allow. If you want me to stop, you'll have to pry the nickname from my cold, dead hands.

No comments: