Wednesday, June 27, 2007

June 27, 1927

Happy birthday, Mom!

Eighty years ago today my mother was born in Traunstein, a Bavarian town near the shores of the Chiemsee. I only know Traunstein as a visitor, but each time I'm there, I feel completely at home, as if I know the region in my soul... as if it knows me.

If I believed in spirits finding their way home after death (and I think maybe I do), I'd believe that Mom has found her way back to Traunstein and to the Bavarian Alps near her home. (The photo is of her in Salzburg, one of her favorite cities, during our visit in 2001.)

During her last days, when Mom could barely speak, she whispered her thoughts to me in both English and German, and they seemed to center on her Heimat: floating in a lake, hiking a mountain (she even moved her legs as if she were climbing), and being back with her mother. ("Your mother?" I whispered back. "Let me tell you about my mother...")

I miss Mom, and I'm sure that if she were still alive we'd be having one helluva party for her today as she'd turn 80. She'd insist on it. She died too early and she knew it. She fought the ovarian cancer that robbed her from us with every fiber of her being until she could fight no longer. She denied and defied her death until there was no fight left in her, somehow believing, I think, that if she refused to acknowledge it, it wouldn't take her.

But it did.

Dad has, thankfully, gone on and is living life fully, probably more fully than he ever did before. He and Lou, who I adore, have settled into a new life together and are blissfully happy. (Lou was Mom's friend; her husband died of cancer shortly after Mom did. What was friendship for many years blossomed into love...) I expect Dad to be around for a long time to come and can't even fathom the thought of losing him now, when his life is finally perfect for him.

He has a CT scan today to look further into a mysterious abdominal pain. I hope positive (defiant?) thought actually works, because I'll be focusing on it big time today. He simply must stay here in his happy life for a very long time to come. He deserves it.

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Dixie said...

Your mother must have been a wonderful woman. She certainly was a beautiful looking lady. I know she's with you today on her birthday and every day.

christina said...

What a lovely picture of your mother. So sweet.

I'm sure she did find her way back to her favourite places and is looking down on you all, pleased as punch at how you're getting on with your lives.

All the best for your dad. My parents are also facing health issues and it's difficult.

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