Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mothers and Sons

The sad, sad case of Brooke Astor and her son Anthony Marshall (who was sentenced yesterday to 1-3 years in jail for stealing from her as she succumbed to dementia) has me thinking about the relationship of parents and their children as they both reach old age. While Mr. Marshall seems to have inappropriately helped himself to his mother's money, it isn't hard to imagine that he just got tired of waiting for her die so he could have the family fortune. Clearly their relationship was not warm and fuzzy: she apparently despised his wife and didn't seem to devote much attention to him during his childhood (at one point, he saw her twice during a 6-year period). But since she didn't seem completely devoid of affection, it is hard to understand why she didn't simply hand over more money so he could enjoy it during his lifetime (he's in his mid-80s) -- why continue to keep control over all of it? The notion of a son waiting for his mother to die so he can have his chance at glory reminds me of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles - wonder if we'll ever see some sort of hint of impatience there, too?

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