john lennon’s mother dies – 5/20/22

Today's selection -- from The Last Days of John Lennon by James Patterson. In 1958, when John Lennon was 17, his mother died after being struck by a car:
"At a party celebrating Commonwealth Day, John and his band play on the back of a parked coal lorry. As he sings and plays, he sees three members of his family standing in the crowd. His mum, Julia, and his younger half sisters – Julia, who shares Mum’s name, and Jacqui – are the best kind of fans, singing along with him, shouting and screaming their praises. Julia acts more like a friend than his mother.
"John still feels a bit like an outsider with them and Bobby Dykins, Julia’s common-law husband, though he’s comfortable enough at their house, on 1 Blomfield Road, to be there visiting on Tuesday, July 15, while Julia’s off spending time with Mimi.
"John is still waiting for Julia’s return at nearly 10:00 p.m. With his sitsters asleep upstairs, it’s just John and Dykins when a knock comes at the door.
"It’s a policeman, who look directly at John.
"‘Are you Julia Dykins’s son?’ the constable asks.
"'Yes,' John mumbles.

"'I'm sorry to tell you your mother's dead.'
"Julia has been struck by a car while crossing Menlove Avenue to catch the bus home. Mimi went in the ambulance with her to Sefton General, and John and Bobby Dykins race over to the hospital, but when they arrive, John waits outside." 
"He can't bring himself to go in and say good-bye.

"We'd caught up so much, me and Julia, John thinks. We could communicate. We got on. She was great.  

"The grief turns over to rage. Fuck it, fuck it, fuck it. That's really fucked everything. I've no responsibilities to anyone now.
"Julia’s funeral, at Allerton Cemetery, is real and yet not real.

"The man who killed her was a student driver and off-duty policeman named Eric Clague, who is acquitted of all charges. The only punishment the man receives is a short suspension from duty.

"When the verdict's read, Mimi looks at Clague and shouts, ‘Killer!’

"John thinks of Julia, buried and all alone in the ground.

"The awful finality shatters him.

"Mother, you had me, but I never had you."



James Patterson


The Last Days of John Lennon


Hachette Book Group


Copyright 2020 by James Patterson


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