Fans of the syndicated comic strip Family Circus were saddened to learn of the death this week of Thelma Keane. She was the inspiration for Mommy, one of the central characters in the strip. Thelma Keane had Alzheimer's disease and was 82.
Her husband, Bill, drew a wonderful frame about parenthood that was reproduced in some of this week's obituaries in North American newspapers. It shows Thelma's alter ego standing on the sidewalk surrounded by four little children. She's holding a bag of groceries in one arm. A middle-aged woman asks her, "How do you divide your love among four children?" She answers, "I don't divide it. I multiple it."
I wish I'd seen that cartoon when I was stressed and frustrated with toddlers in tow.
Bill Keane, 85, credits Thelma for his success as a cartoonist.
If you'd like to see the strip and read some more about Bill and Thelma Keane, see the Globe and Mail's obituary here or this publishing blog.
The Family Circus site is here.