Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wobbly times number 169

My mother died yesterday.  I was fortunate enough to be able to speak with her on the phone a few hours before she passed away.  The essence of what we spoke about is encapsulated in these reflections.


Lieutenant Recharda Benson WWII U.S. Army Nurse 

That's why I love you
That's why I want you to be free
That's why I hate the sadists
That's why I'm a democrat
That's why I'm sympathetic with the poor
That's why I want kindness to replace hatred
That's why I don't care about riches
That's why I care about animals' welfare
That's why I go for the underdog
That's why I love the vivacity wild things exhibit
In short
My mom's the reason I care
In short
she's the reason I'm focussed on elan
not tied down to property and status
She's the reason 
I've declared war on cruelty 
ever since I was born
And why I think 
It's nobody's business but my own
if I ride tear-filled waves of grief today 

 Recharda with her sisters and a friend late 1930s
 My mom and I Christmas, 1949
 My dad and I in the same place, 1949
 Me, my mom, Bruce and Grandma Benson late 50s San Diego train station
 My step-dad, Bruce, mom and me early 70s East Lansing
On my last visit to the USA in 2009

April 1, 1919-August 24, 2013



  1. These are some good memories. She must have been an excellent mother because she allowed you to keep your beamish grin.


  3. That's great Jen. I'm going to embed your youtube tribute on this blog. One correction. I joined the Marines at age 18, not 16. More on that can be found here:

  4. Condolences. Beautiful poem and lovely tribute by Jenny. My grandma died on June 30 and she was nice enough to remember me in her estate planning. That's how I was able to afford my Honda Accord Coupe, otherwise I would still be too poor for a car I deserve.