Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Jesse writes about his mom

Marie about 1978

[More Photos Here]

Marie's Son Jesse Writes
Hey Steve, I love what you wrote about mom. And the pictures are great. I was wondering if you could make me some copies, but only if it's not too much trouble.

Being a photographer like you, I also have hundreds of pictures of mom, but they are not nearly as good as the ones you have taken over the years and I don't have many from her "hippie" days. I would greatly appreciate it. I really like the idea of having some sort of reunion/wake for her (other than the funeral). She had a lot of friends and family that would probably like to get together and reflect on what a wonderful person she was. All I have is a lousy myspace page, JESSE (Nature Boy)!, and I've never really blogged, so I'm going to give you what I've wrote over the past couple of days and if you want to post it on your blog, feel free to.

When you needed a helping hand, she was always there. When you needed someone to talk to, she was always there. She loved doing crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, watching Jeopardy and whenever she had a chance, she’d go to the thrift stores and garage sales to buy whatever knickknacks she had room for. She loved cooking and she was never afraid to experiment in the kitchen. Her salsa was perfect and I don’t think anyone will forget her lasagna. She also loved to garden and show off her handy work around the house. Not just the simple day to day chores, that she never let go by, but huge projects like refinishing all the kitchen cabinets, redesigning the bathroom, building things in the garden and all the various other projects that kept her busy. She also loved traveling. whether it was a day trip to Bodega Bay, a week long adventure in Mexico, a descent into a cave or a drive to the top of Mt. Diablo. I remember one time when we were on our way home from work in Reno. We were driving over the pass and a huge blizzard caught us by surprise. Most people would have panicked, but she actually got excited and the expression on her face was like that of a kid who had just seen Disneyland for the first time. She loved adventures and challenges. She’d wake us up to see thunderstorms, meteor showers, and eclipses. She loved to see the forces of nature at work. When there was a flood or a strong storm, we’d drive around town to see damage first hand. She even got to experience the big earthquake of 89’ from where it happened. She loved parties. She would throw a party for anything. Birthdays, Holidays, Super Bowls, graduations, and anything else that gave her a chance to get us all together and have fun. And that is what she was all about, togetherness.

She also had a strong work ethic. In her youth she worked at the Sacramento Speedway, then I believe she worked at a gas station, after that she did housekeeping, then finally she got a job with I.R.I. She worked hard and no matter how stressful or big the project, she always got it done. Through all the computer problems, dead batteries, hours in the “cold boxes”, earthquakes, blizzards and holiday chaos, she got it done.

She was the center of a large “family”, and by family I mean everyone that she held dear to her, and that was a lot of people. A lot of people! For instance, even though she divorced my dad, they were always friends and she was always there to give him support. She kept in touch with his side of the family; Lois, Michelle, Candy, Steve and his kids. She, like so many other people often do, could have cast them aside and moved on, but that was not her way. Once you you were in her heart there was no way out. Even the “old” friends of her youth like, Bruce, Joanne, Janet, Bobby and Randy and others from the “Ciaros” days. She treated everyone like family. She would stand by your side in times of sickness and give you her undivided attention when you needed someone to talk to and believe it or not she’d even bail you out of jail, no questions asked. She was close to all her friends at work and especially all the kids me and Heather knew. Her home was always open to those who had no where to go. We didn’t know how lucky we were back then to have someone looking out for us. She was a Saint. When her sister died she took control and stood by her nieces and nephews through the toughest time in their lives and she visited Milo every chance she could. She also never gave up on Heather. No matter how crazy things got, she never gave up. It was not her way! Then, when the grandchildren entered her life she went into overdrive. She made sure they had a good childhood. She gave them everything they asked for and more. From giant Christmas’ to wonderful birthday parties. A pack of yu-gi-o cards here a Bratz doll there. She paid for little league every year, kept them in “fashion”, gave them rides, helped them with school, and even like she did with me and Heather, she treated their friends like family. She was also very close to her Mom and sisters. Always there to help them, or comfort them in times of need. I’ll never forget the holidays when the four of them got together. It was almost magical. As for me, well, she was my inspiration. Always there to help me out with one of my crazy projects. Always willing to make a side trip on the way home from work so I could make a few casts, or snap a few shots. “Play it from the heart” is was she told me about my music. Pretty much everything I did, I did it for her. Her opinions, no matter what others said, were what I went by. I trusted her like no other. Then there was kirk, the love of her life and her knight in shining armor. She meant everything to him and he meant everything to her. They had the perfect marriage. All the screenwriters in the world couldn't have wrote a better script for a marriage than the one mom and Kirk actually lived. They had there dogs; Daisy, Shasta, Fancy, Buford, Murphy, and Lizzy. They had there romantic getaways to Tahoe, Mexico, Canada, San Francisco, and of course Bodega Bay. There was nothing that could come between them, they were inseparable. Beyond faithful.

She was the most honest, respectful, caring person I ever knew. She never lied, she never broke the law and she never hated anyone. She overflowed with love. She was beautiful, and her crooked smile warmed the hearts everyone she knew. And now that she’s gone, we all have to remember what she taught us and live our lives the way she would would have wanted us to.

Jesse: Of course I will make you copies. All you have written about your mom is true! - Steve

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