my mother was born in millinocket maine, where i was born, and where both my grandparents were born. my grandmother was the director of nursing at the small hosptital and my grandfather was employed by the forest service for as long as i can remember. my uncle, my mothers only brother, still lives in this tiny former mill town. it is know as the "gateway" to baxter state park.

we lived all over the united states when i was a kid, from maine to california and back again. a recent rough count of moves was over 12 before i was in 10th grade. we were not in the miliary. as far from it as probable, in fact. i am not sure if we were running from something, or for it.

in the end, my mom died in colorado. she liked colorado i think, although if she had had a choice, i am not sure she would have been there.

my mom was funny, caring and hard headed. i like to think i am like her.
she was also insecure and often cared too much of what people thought of her. near the end of her life, i think she was lonely and this makes me sad.

today, my mother would have been 56 years old. very young by anyones standards. i miss her very much. i am still surprised at the instinct i have to pick up the phone to tell her some insignificant yet seemingly important bit of my day. there are so many fractions of seconds i think "i have to tell mom...." before my brain delivers the news again and again. there has been no one in my life who has made me feel like my opinion mattered more, or that i am intelligent, and beautiful, and caring and just plain terrific, more than my mother.
thanks to all of you who try.

hindsight is 20/20 and of course now almost 7 years have passed, enabling me to reflect on the things that could have been done differently, things i should have said or done.
in the end, all you are left with are memories, and it is true that time is kind to those who grieve. the hurt falls away leaving only what makes you smile.

happy birthday mom. i miss you.


ozone ranger said...

Gretchen....though you are gone from this plane...i know you live in so many hearts and ways...i see it in our childrens faces and mannerisms,attitudes;righteous political rage...oh how we raged against the machine and carved our own small enclave in watermelon sugar with always rooom for one more in your heart and at your table.
running away/to each new horizon and another voracious bite out of the universe...
you are still my angel "Christy" and my heart still breaks every time I feel the loss of all your possible....love,Irving
a 64 Ford pick-up bound for California from an Island of dreams and babies and storm petrels
tripping through the night with brautigan and bach...richard not johansebas...
kicking up our heels at lanterns 4 or the red barn with bill chinook and jose...blowin our brains out on some fine bud...searchin for happiness for our kids and everyone elses too.

holley said...

Wow, LB. Kind of wild, but I thought of your mama today. Brian and I went to this fantastic PYO berry farm...raspberries, boysenberries, loganberries, marion berries (mmmmm), red currants, and on an on. I was eating nearly as many as I was putting in the pot, and I thought about how we had talked about taking our moms with us to pick berries. It was near the end of Gretchen's life, and we never had the opportunity and that does make me sad. But as I was savoring the sweet tartness of the juicy fruit, I thought of her today and smiled. :)

By the way...you absolutely ARE terrific, and I miss having you around very much. I can't even imagine how terrific you are after a day of basking in the happy-light. I won't tell you that sundown starts here in NZ somewhere close to 10pm, cause I know that will make you very jealous.

I think I ate too many berries, and I don't feel so swell right now...