Sunday, February 24, 2013
the last book I ever read (King of the Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution, excerpt two)
from King of the Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution by Aram Goudsouzian:
Then, in the fall of 1946, Katie Russell died. Charlie Russell had come home from the hospital, woken his children in the darkness, and simply told them, “Your mother died tonight.” She had been hospitalized for two weeks with a mysterious flu-like sickness, and then her kidneys failed. Her death surprised her doctors. “We’ll have to stick together now,” said Charlie.
Bill was twelve years old. For months afterward he dreamed of his mother hugging him, rocking him awake in the morning, telling him that she would never leave. During the funeral back in Louisiana, he refused to look at her corpse. He could not accept her absence. No instance in Bill Russell’s life molded him more than his mother’s death. She had implanted him with his sense of self and a sense of security. Even as an adult, he sought to protect himself from the pain of personal loss.