My mother in the 60's
My mother in the 60's

Remembering My Mother.....

Well, it finally happened. I decided to write about my mother who died when I was eight years old. I actually wrote a screenplay about my life story many years ago and it was so painful when it came to writing about my mother that I put it away. When I wrote the first draft, it came out like a waterfall and I finished 100 pages in 2 days. But when I went to read it again and tried to rewrite it, it started to feel too complicated. One day I just stopped.

The main problem I had with it was since I was so young when she died it was too hard to remember everything. So then I tried to make it sort of a true story with a "fantasy" twist. It worked for a while, but then I could not seem to find the “theme” in the story. I wrote about painful experiences that I remembered and some of the details seemed interesting, but the rest of it had to be made up. In the end I came out with something similar to the movie “The Butterfly Effect” (with Ashton Kutcher). A bit bizarre.

My mother died a tragic death at the young age of 32 and without going into details about something so extremely personal and painful, I just wanted to put down on paper my thoughts about her. She always seems to come to me in small “snippets,” like small slideshows when you see a face that looks familiar. I tried to remember some of the things about her today and I thought of “singing” and “yoga.” She used to put on her black leotard and do exercises in front of the den mirror. I used to try and join her in her poses and I remember enjoying this and laughing a lot. I also remember her singing “Goodnight Sweetheart” to me and she would stand at the door and wiggle her hips every night while she sang. She did have a great sense of humor and she often sang opera when she ran out of the shower. She was once a model and a showgirl.

Every night she would sing…..

“Goodnight Sweetheart, well its time to go…….

Goodnight Sweetheart, well its time to go....I hate to leave you but I really must say, Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight.”

Then she was gone and I had a hard time getting to sleep. She had been acting strange for quite a while and it made me worry a lot. When things got progressively worse she would start breaking down in public and cry out of nowhere. The hardest part for me was trying to get her home before things got any worse and this forced me to grow up really quickly.

She started to not trust anyone and her friends became her enemies overnight. I once witnessed her smiling and hanging out with a neighbor and close friend of hers while we went to the store to get her cigarettes and then all of a sudden she "went off" out of nowhere. “You don’t really like me!!!” she would say as her friend looked on in shock. I stood there and watched my mother turn into someone else and when she dragged me off I looked back at the strange expression on the ladies face. I never forgot that expression of pure confusion and pity.

The day she left me for good I was going to camp and she walked me to the school bus. The light was behind her head like a halo and her eyes looked empty and all I could think of was the fact that she was never coming back. I just knew. She was beautiful, but she was broken and the life in her eyes had disappeared. The light in the beautiful vessel had gone somewhere else.

I often think of the time that she tried to destroy her artwork and her paintings because she said it was never good enough. I also think of all of the negative comments that she made about her beauty for years. She was never “skinny enough” or “pretty enough.” I went with her to many different places of worship while she was searching for her "inner peace" that she never found. I saw a Buddha taller then the chapel and we had meals at the Hare Krishnas Camp in Los Angeles on a few occasions. There were also the times at church and at group therapy where I hung desperately to her leg as she cried about her life and disappointments.

The time I remember most was when she used to walk my younger sister and I to the market on the corner in Hollywood. She used to wear very cool short dresses and liked to walk around barefoot and had beautiful, long legs that never stopped. She was striking and people always noticed her but she never felt it herself and this was sad. Even as a child I knew that she was hurting.

It was like seeing a beautiful flower in a storm and no matter how much water it got, it just never grew. 


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Comments 35 comments

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

Bless your heart, darling. I could weep for you. Your mom is absolutely gorgeous. I love the photos of her. I'll never forget them. This may be the time for you to do that screenplay. Thank you for sharing your pain and a small part of the story of this lovely lady.

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 7 years ago from California Author

Thanks James. Your comment really "touched me." I really appreciate your words and thoughts. I'm working on a couple of different writing projects and the screenplay is still here as a "work in progress." Thank you again for always sharing...... G

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chiara.bolognini 7 years ago

Your story of your mum is so touching. I see your point in struggling to come out with a consistent book. I have a lot to tell about my family story as well, though I do not have the courage to write it down. I appreciate your effort, I am sure you´ll overcome.

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 7 years ago from California Author

Thank you chiara.bolognini for your comment......hopefully you will write about your family also one day.


meteoboy profile image

meteoboy 7 years ago from GREECE

I respect you and I understand how do you feel because my wife has lost her father when she was eight months old.Thank you for sharing these personal memories. Really I appreciate your feelings.

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 7 years ago from California Author

Thank you meteoboy for such a lovely comment. I really appreciate it. GPAGE

Lisa Petrarca profile image

Lisa Petrarca 7 years ago

I think so many times it's easier to tuck memories away, especially painful ones. I'm glad you were able to open up and share your mother with us. What a beautiful lady! I'm sorry for your loss.

I lost my brother at the age of 21 & kept it bottled up for so many years that even after everyone seemed to heal...I was stuck.

I hope this will help you in your healing process too!

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 7 years ago from California Author

Lisa: That was so sweet of you to stop in and share your thoughts. I think the writing is helping me get through some of those "blocks." Best, GPAGE

frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America

GPAGE, your words are of deep sadness, yet with hope now springing out in the sharing - even as you might re-live pain. It seems you have built a firm foundation with the success of your writing/expression, and you are on a beautiful pathway even as you share these memories.

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 7 years ago from California Author

frogyfish! My daughter would love your name! ha

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and beautiful words. They mean a lot to me. Best, GPAGE

ThePartyAnimal profile image

ThePartyAnimal 7 years ago

I feel your pain having lost my mother at the same age as you. My memories of my childhood are blocked and I do not have many being I had to deal with such a traumatic thing at such a young age. It is so hard and I cried when my kids turned 8 thinking what would they remember of me if I went now and what she was thinking knowing she was leaving her kids all due to the horror of Cancer. I still cannot grasp it. You are lucky to have memories and I am lucky to have older siblings who keep my mother alive for me and share their memories. Your mother was beautiful.

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 7 years ago from California Author

ThePartyAnimal......thank you so much for sharing your life here with me. I too felt the same when my son turned eight. I still look at both my children to see how much they seem to be "connected" with me so that I can gage my "loss" at such a young age. You are lucky to have older siblings to share memories with you. Since I was the oldest I felt like I had to grow up too fast. I'm the ultimate "multitasker." Just today I decided to give myself a break. Even in my 40's, I'm still playing that childhood role. I really appreciate you stopping in to tell me your story. Best, GPAGE

ThePartyAnimal profile image

ThePartyAnimal 7 years ago

I too had to grow up fast and that is probably why I can connect so well to kids in what I do. Inside I am still that child as well. It was very hard on my father who was left with 3 of us and had to work to provide and we had to handle life on our own for the most part. He did remarry a few years later, but that is a whole other story - just not the same.

Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 7 years ago

I understand what you mean about your screen play. Some of the memories are there in their entirety, and others become confused and blurred until they make no sense........ not even to us. I can see your "slide show;" I have one of my own.

Your mother was beautiful, but she didn't see it; she didn't know how to love herself, but I know she loved you.

Thank you for sharing..........

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 7 years ago from California Author

Kaie Arwen....thank you so much for your comment and beautiful words. I was very "touched" by your writing.....I'm hoping that in time I could write and finish my story. I think it will just "flow" one day when I'm ready. Thank you again for your lovely words........I admire your strength. Best GPAGE

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 7 years ago

GPAGE. Lovely hearfelt hub! What a nice tribute to your MOM!

She was a beautiful lady and yes so very young, obviously searching for her purpose in life...

I am sure your screen play is quite interesting and just think her story is not over it continues on with you... Keep the Love she had for you alive in your heart! Thank you for sharing, Blessings!

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 7 years ago from California Author nice of you to stop by and leave your wonderful and caring comment. I have seen you on Mr. Watkins hubs and it is nice to see you here!

All the best, GPAGE

Yvonne 6 years ago

The best therapy I have ever had, has been between me, God and my journal. Keep writing...healing is within.

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 6 years ago from California Author

Thanks Yvonne! I try to write every day. Best, G

Nick 5 years ago

very touching G. i can feel the emotion. one day at a time..



GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 5 years ago from California Author

Thanks Nick! I appreciate your comment....G

Michael Ray King profile image

Michael Ray King 5 years ago from Palm Coast, Florida

Hi G. I just stumbled across this Hub. Nice writing. You have a lovely writer's voice. The emotion comes through clear and touching. I cannot imagine. Your ability to emote and express in print is such a wonderful gift. Thank you for sharing this.

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 4 years ago from California Author

Michael! Just saw this comment after so many months! Thank you so much for your comment and for being here. I know so much writing and more has happened since this comment!!! ha.......Best, G

John LePrevost 4 years ago

Wow I never knew that about your mom...Thanks for sharing Gina, She really was a beautiful woman.

carmela 4 years ago

Hi Gina. Thank you for sharing a bit of your story, the confusion. I wonder if the screenplay could be more about a young girl trying to find her way, grappling with such a big, loss, with the confusion of not really having all of the details, but just these images. Did you ever see "Ponette" A beautiful French film about a little girl who loses her mother, what she goes through. Just thoughts...

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 4 years ago from Hawaii

Somehow i missed this G. I wonder where i was. Heartwarming as usual. Some things in life are too delicate, and somehow, we are not given the whole picture in one shot, but only pieces of them, because, it's all we can take emotionally. There is more of our mothers in us that we carry, and if we look closely, we will see them. That's how close they are.

Eric RasBury 4 years ago

Gina that is a very touching and innocent part of yourself

you shared. Very personal and precious. I lost my mother on Cinco De Mayo 83. I a sure you your mother still sings to you every night. She is very proud and pleased on how you turned out. Thank you for sharing and God Bless you and your little ones.

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 4 years ago from California Author sweet of you to comment here.....I guess I never spoke about it much in the old days.....I think after I had children I started to reflect more about that time.....G

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 4 years ago from California Author

Carmela..thanx for mentioning that movie. I will definitely watch it soon. I appreciate your words.....thank you. G

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 4 years ago from California Author

Sylvia.....what you say is so true....the slide shows and snippets I see are "edited" I am sure. I remember the pain and I also remember trying to "forget." So it seems that these memories come out a bit at a time.....interesting about what you look closely at how much of our mother's are in us....I may think about that for a while....She was very nurturing, artistic, funny and compassionate. Those words feel very close to home.....

Thank you always for your lovely words.....G

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 4 years ago from California Author

Eric.....thank you so much for your kind and loving words. I often think of those times that she was happy and singing.....those are the best nice to see you here.....Best, G

hilary nathan 4 years ago

With tears in my eyes and my heart overflowing with love & sadness, but also with the greatest admiration for all the goodness, nurturing and compassion that you have passed on......... So many emotions to try to wrap my brain around - to understand how "so much Love, Compassion, Motivation & Understanding is carried forth by your strength and fortitude - because of your Mother's love for you - and your love and support for her...I truly believe that her love for her children so great that she instinctively felt the "Goodnight Sweetheart It's Time To Go" that her "passing on" would free you of having to watch her go through So Very Much Torment that you could not possibly help her with! How selfless of her - How brave of her - How Sad for all who loved her!!!!! I have to believe that she is finally at PEACE! I ALSO SO STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT SHE IS ALWAYS WITH YOU - so filled with PRIDE, NOT ONLY OF YOU TALENT, BRILLIANCE AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS BUT AS YOUR LOVE FOR YOUR FAMILY! She was unable to see herself in the Reflection of the Eyes of others; not only in the eyes those who loved her, but her Soul is now basking in the realization that Her Daughter is Everything - and more then she could have ever imagined. Her "passing on" on my birthday (which I had not celebrated until last year - because you gave me a reason to do so)gives me a purpose - I think SHE KNEW THAT I WOULD TRY TO PUT IN WORDS ALL THE PRIDE SHE FEELS IN THE AMAZING WAYS YOU CONSTANTLY EVOLVE AS you have learned to deal, so gracefully, with every unexpected "bend in the road" as well as finding "the clarity when the road is opened!" Maybe now she can see, through your eyes, the beautiful, talented, funny & nurturing "Girlie & Mommy" she really was! I shall honor her Memory - I, fortunately or unfortunately, can truly identify with her "tormented life;" her love for her family; her search for trying to peace within her self!!!! "Rambling Thoughts of Life, Love, Demise, Heartbreak,and Extreme Gratitude -written by my Heart with Compassion, appreciation, sadness,but Joy for all that you have given to me & those you love!!!!! Hilary

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 4 years ago from California Author

Wow! Hil.....this writing is amazing.....I really appreciate the love you left on this page......makes Mother's Day feel like a nicer day for me.....I shall celebrate who I am and how much I give as an adoring mother!!! Who would do anything it everything I do!! Thanx again for pilling your heart on the page......and no worries write with LOVE so it will never seem like rambling like I told you on the phone....Lots of love, Gx

gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

This is such a beautifully poignant hub!

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 4 years ago from California Author

gmwilliams! Thank you again......very nice of you to be here and let me know that you enjoy my work. Vey much appreciated! Best, GPAGE

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