March 26, 2009

Mothers and Daughters

Joanie in the front with her two daughters on the left and her granddaughters above her.

Himself: There was a very bad accident on his way to work. Why did the guy park his vehicle part way on the freeway? Why was he half way in and out of the driver’s side door? He didn’t live. The car didn’t live.

Herself: School and writing. Finished first draft of an overview of the arts and graphics of NS Germany.

Reading: Speer, still. Enjoying it.

Balance: The colors of the world by the bay. What a beautiful day.

Jonie died this month. She faded away.

Her daughters were special friends of mine from my first time around in college. As we all grew up, they moved to the beauty of Northern California leaving mom, and gramma, behind in their Coronado houses.

Jonie’s house was one of those tiny turn of the century cottages. Sneeze, and you were out the back door. The hall was shoulder to shoulder wide. If Jonie hadn’t been so tiny, she wouldn’t have been able to turn around in the kitchen. I certainly had troubles in the bathroom.

When she inherited a little money, she built a giant bedroom on to the rear of the cottage. It was almost the same square footage as the house itself. This helped life a lot. Her daughters would come down the coast a few times a year to visit, and they arranged for her to have help as she began fading. After she fading away in public, they found a buyer for her cottage and moved her north to live near daughter Sally.

That was many years ago. On our last visit, the eldest’s hair had gone grey and the youngest pure white. Now a last link to home has closed, and their lives are fully anchored there.

I miss that perkyness Joanie offered the world…the certainty of manners, and the core of another time that she gave us. She faced the world with a dignity that I’ve never managed. My mother had it too. Her youngest took care of her in a mobile home near her own home with that dignity. Both daughters will miss her.


  1. What a beautiful tribute to Joanie. She would have loved it, I'm sure. Your description of the cottage was so nicely worded I could "see" it very well.

  2. My mother had it too - what a generation of strong women. I'm sorry for all of your loss.

    Thanks for visiting my San Diego blog - I'm glad I found you too.

    Wonderful blog!


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