Beatrice taught 6th grade at the H.D.Cooke School in D.C. in the 50's. This mug came from one of her students... I wish I could remember who. Thanks!!!

Beatrice taught 6th grade at the H.D.Cooke School in D.C. in the 50's. This mug came from one of her students... I wish I could remember who. Thanks!!!

Jahrzeit & Mother’s Day 2015

Another year has come and gone… Mother’s Day is right around the corner and May 8, 2015 is the seventeenth anniversary of the passing of Beatrice Love Kaukonen, my Mom. Her Father, Benjamin Samuel Levine and his Mom and Dad Shmuel and Gittel came to the United States in 1905 from Ekatarinoslav on the Dneiper River in what is now the Ukrainian Republic. Typical American story… Russian Jewish tobacco farming in Ellington, Connecticut. What a life! My Grandfather Ben, got his PhD from Brown University and went on to be a noted research bacteriologist. Grandmother Vera graduated Trinity College in Hartford. More on this another time. My Mom was into all sorts of education all her life. It beat picking tobacco.

I posted the Goodbye Mom text last year, but I’m doing it again and I’ll probably do it every year till somebody does it for me. The ‘Dear Mom’ letter I just found two ago in a drawer in my Dad’s old desk which lives in my music room. It was a hard copy, I had to transcribe it. Wow.

You can make plans, but you can’t plan the outcome. Sad to say, my brother Peter, and I have not spoken for many years. I couldn’t really tell you why. It’s unfortunate, but that’s how it seems to be. It would be nice for our kids to get to know each other sometime.

And there you have it. OK… here I go celebrating Mom’s Jahrzeit.

A letter from Jerry Jr., Hillside Farm, Meigs County, Ohio to
Beatrice Love Kaukonen (6-12-10/5-8-98)
Written June 20,1998

Dear Mom:

This is a last letter to you. A real one, a hard copy, one you could touch were you still able to touch. You know your memorial is in three days and even though I have used working as an excuse not to do this until now I realize this is not simple Jerry procrastination. It hit me tonight when I was putting my broken down motorcycle on the trailer. I have been putting off saying my final good-byes to you for once I have done this I must move on and it just didn’t seem time yet.

Well Mom, I guess it’s time.

You let me join Peter and Sera for your final hours and I will always be grateful to you for that. But that was your final chapter, your final lesson to me. There was so much more in the book. You and Dad spread so many layers of perception for Peter and I to sheath ourselves in. Love of music, of books, of the countryside where I live, of the hills and hollows and streams and ponds. I cannot hear a goose honk or a duck quack without being a little boy again hiking in Rock Creek Park with you and Peter. When I walk in the woods I think how you would have liked this land, when I put my canoe in some local lake I think of you teaching me how to row and paddle… I think of you on your boat reaching for freedom in the Skerrgards outside of Stockholm.

I think of you often.

I miss the phone calls. Especially the Sunday ones after I watched Charles Osgood’s Sunday Morning. I miss sharing the blessing of my life with Vanessa with you. Lord knows I wandered aimlessly for so long but you always encouraged me to believe that it would get better. You never moralized with me or criticized my follies.

You always supported your boys in your own way. You were not always easy to get along with but your were always easy to love. You had a giant spirit and touched more people than I could possibly imagine. You had plenty of love to go around and those who were moved by your spirit will miss you as much as Peter and I.

The last year or so of your life has allowed me to discover my brother Peter. He has become a part of my life even though we live so far away from each other.

You did not go gentle into that good night and sometimes this brought consternation into the lives of those around you. Yet the lessons of your strength do not go unnoticed. The kittens that gave you so much joy after Dad died now live on the farm here at Hillside. Doody clawed the crap out of me the other day but I couldn’t even get mad about it. Mimi likes to go outside but she returns to the guest house after about and hour outside. You would have been proud of the little rascal’s adaptability.

I remember sitting with you by your bed one day some months ago. We were organizing your old letters and stuff in the sideboard by the foot of the bed. At one point you grabbed my hand and said, ‘I wish I could believe!’ I remember saying, “I do believe!’ The truth is that I really do believe. I do not know how this happened but I guess it all has to do with who we are and where we came from. I know that when the time came for you to walk that last mile alone you did so with grace as Peter and I shopped for flowers for Mother’s Day for you. When we returned, the lines that had furrowed your brow were gone and I believe that when you were called home, you went in peace. I believe you are in a better place, together with your old friends and family. I believe your are bathed in love and that your spirit shines with the purest light.

I pray you rest with a satisfied mind surrounded by the ones you love.

I will never forget you and I will love you as the only Mother I ever had.

One of your loving sons:

Jerry Jr.

May 1, 1998 (3:11PM) Eastern Daylight Savings

It is 1215 here at 30 Underhill. Mom is in the living room sleeping, Her cats are here as well as Sarah and myself. Peter has gone to Oakland to take care of some business. Mom is pulling into the stretch of her life here. I am still somewhat nonplused by it. I’m sure that more will be revealed. It is so fortunate that Peter has made it possible for both Mom and Dad to die at home. A real blessing. She has traveled far. Almost the length of this 20th century of ours. She has seen many things and now it is time for her to go home. She has prepared Peter and myself as best she could and with this last lesson she moves on.

She has fought long enough and I pray that she now goes gentle into that good night.

May 1, 1998 (3:31PM)

I heard a sound and went to her side she looked at me but I’m not sure she saw me. She looked peaceful though. May she transit soon.

May 2, 1998 (11:29AM)

I just breakfasted at Mama’s in Mill Valley. When I came back a few minutes ago, Mom’s eyes were open and her left hand was raised. I went over to hold her hand and talk to her. She looked as if she was looking at me but Peter says her cataracts are so bad that even if she were otherwise well, sight would be problematic at best. Yesterday when I took her hand the power of her grip had been restored. Today it was like the touch of a small bird’s wing. Her female cat, Mimi, was at her feet on the bed. Sarah is having breakfast and Peter is still sleeping.

I slept well in Mom’s old room and although I dreamt, I cannot recall what the dreams were. The bed kept me warm with the aid of the little quilt that Vanessa and I gave Mom a year or so ago. The classical music plays on and right now I am in a timeless place. Every moment more is revealed.

May 2, 1998 (11:42AM)

I was just getting ready to do something important like playing a game of computer solitaire when Mom called for Sarah. She wanted something, it was hard to tell what. Sarah held her hand as she struggled with the words. Sarah calls her Bea… tells her she loves her. Her soft Fijian inflected voice calms Mom and she sponges water into her mouth from a little pink sponge on a stick. Mom is now calling for help.

May 2, 1998 (11:51AM)

Sarah comes but we cannot determine what it is we can do to help her. I go over to the bed. Her eyes are looking at something… we do not know what it is. I help Sarah move Mom higher in the bed. She still tries to talk but the words are incomprehensible to us here on earth. Her breath is shallow, almost imperceptible. Sometimes apnea interrupts the flow and she is still for some moments and then the cycle begins again. Time stands still, there by her bed, and we are all transported to another place where we can witness her in the unfolding of her destiny but can really do nothing to interact. Death is indeed a personal event and we can share in it only from behind our own eyes.

She puts her hand to her face, the fingers touching her forehead. She is hovering somewhere between life and death and whatever seems to be troubling her exists in the grey area of the tunnel I believe she is in. The sound of Sarah doing the dishes and the omnipresent classical music are surreal indeed but not unpleasant. She calls for Sarah again. Sarah comes and holds her hand and tells her she loves her. On Mom’s hand is her wedding ring that she has worn for over 61 years.

The angels wait.

Peter comes and looks down at her. I stand at the head of the bed where she could not see me if she could see. I do not know if she is aware at this moment that the three of us are here or if that time is already past. Her eyes close and the furrows in her brow relax for the moment. I shall go have coffee with Peter.

The angels wait.

May 2, 1998 (1:03PM)

Another moment of waiting… interspacial peace. Her breathing is punctuated by snoring sounds. Peter gets ready to run some errands…. I will stay with Sarah and Mom. I am in an orbital holding pattern.

The angels wait.

May 2, 1998 (3:19PM)

Mom’s cat Mimi wonders where her Mom is and why she isn’t getting the love she is used to. She pesters Peter and me as we try to work with the computers in Dad’s office. Mom looked at both of us for a while and then went back to sleep where she is right now. I must call Chuck and tell him to bring rice cakes.

May 2, 1998 (6:01PM)

Peter and I played Song For Our Mother and Hospice shuffle together next to Mom. Sara listened and Mom slept. She still sleeps, the sound of occasional snores rattling through the house. It is a waiting game. She will go when she is good and ready.

May 2, 1998 (11:16PM)

It is 2016 California time. Sarah has just given Mom her evening medications. She strokes her head as Peter holds her hand and I look on from the foot of the bed. Her breathing is a little more labored… the sounds of fluid gurgling somewhere in her lungs. Her eyes open and it looks as if she would like to say something but cannot. She makes little sounds. We do not know what they mean.
Peter talks to her gently but she is not going gentle into that good night. She is so weak yet so strong. I really do not know what to think. It will be a long time processing this. I will sit next to Peter for a while and then go to bed.

May 3, 1998 (12:25PM)

Sunday morning…. I checked in on Mom before I went to the gym. She had moved onto her side and was grasping the railing. Trying to get out of the bed? Who knows? When I came back from the gym Sarah said that she had been calling Jorma’s name. It must be my Dad since she never called me that. I went to her bedside and her eyes, clouded with cataracts looked a if they were fixating on me. She raised her hand and I took it. There was a little strength in her grip this morning… very little, but strength nonetheless. Once again, the human spirit and body is so strong, it holds so dearly to this transitory plane of life on earth. Fear about the next step? Well, it certainly is a transition we all must make sometime. People get ready, there’s a train a’comin’….

It is a beautiful morning here in San Francisco. Is this a better day than any other to die?

The angels still wait…

May 3, 1998 (2:46PM)
Five minutes ago I was sitting next to Mom reading the Tibetan book of Life and Death. Her pillow supporting her left hand slipped through the bars of her hospital bed. I was adjusting it and her arm when her eyes opened and she seemed to see me for a moment. She said, ‘My dear one…my dear one, my dear one.’ Then as I held her hand she gave it a squeeze and then returned to her Samsara… her ocean of endless suffering. For a moment our lives intersected again here on earth in real time. I was just coming to the word processor when the hospice lady came to tidy Mom up for the day. Indeed it is one moment at a time and each one must be enjoyed as such.

May 5, 1998 (4:15PM)

Yesterday she took Peter’s hand and pressed it to her lips. She is further away… her skin is colder to the touch but yet she hangs on. I just played for her for half an hour or so and she snored melodically through it. She is going, going, but not gone by any stretch of the imagination. What tenacity, and yet her time here has passed. I believe that it is her time to move on to whatever adventure awaits her.

It’s got to be better than this.

May 6, 1998 (7:11AM)

Sarah woke me up for her 0400 medication. I didn’t know where I was for a while. When I finally got my sorry ass out of bed she already had her medication and you could hear the fluid gurgling in her lungs. At this moment I can detect no recognition of me in her eyes. The sound of her breathing hurts ME.

This is no way to live, but it may be a decent way to die.

May 6, 1998 (8:26PM)

Peter says that Mom is melting. It looks that way. Today he called Edie Haskell and Amanda Nealin and Michael John Haskell… Elisha’s children to inform them of Mom’s progress. Amanda wept… Apparently Mom impacted her life in a major way. Michael John was inconsolable. He spoke of her connection to his Dad’s family… His only connection. They wept, and I, touched by how important Mom was to them wept also… as did Peter.

It was quite a moment. I decided to let go and give Michael John the old Kodak camera which was my first camera but which belonged to his grandfather. I had been holding on to it but it’s just more stuff to me and he will really appreciate it.

Mom is melting… she is a wraith… not quite a ghost. Here and yet not here. Recognition is gone and she breathes…. in… out… in… out. Sometimes over a minute between breaths. She is going, going, but not yet quite gone yet.

I miss her already.

I wonder when this will all sink in. My brother and I will be orphans now. I want to go home and see Vanessa.

May 7, 1998 (11:14AM)

Just a little further down the road. A little closer to her final destination. It is Thursday today. Sunday is Mother’s Day. She may be still alive, but she will not see me. I will be back in Ohio and she will be closer to her destination beyond the stars.

She lays in her hospital bed, leaning to the right covering the cast on her right arm. Sarah has just given her the 0800 medication and some of it gurgles in her lungs. For the most part she is no longer really of this earth. She is clean… they do that daily, but her bed clothes are rumpled. A little stuffed bear rests to her left, next to her on her pillow. The little Model A roadster Donna gave me yesterday is on her night stand next to medications and flowers.

I am so fortunate I was able to at least say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ when I got here a week ago today. She knew me and Peter then and she knows us now, wherever she is. They say she is not suffering and I pray that is the case.

I love her dearly. She is so responsible for who I am today.

She is the only Mother I ever had.

My gifts are overwhelming. My cup runneth over.

(She is moaning now. Something either real in our world or real in hers is touching her and she cries out softly and then lies quietly, each breath a gentle groan. I have told her all I could and yet I think I would have said more if I had the time. Or not.)

May 7, 1998 (5:10PM)

Amanda Nealin just called. She is Elisha Haskell’s daughter. I talked to her for the first time. She was inconsolable about Bea’s impending death. We spoke of family… it is all so important in these fragile times. Perhaps Vanessa and I will see them in Atlanta. I was going to lie down before I wrote this but a wave of emotion came over me. Sometimes it just wells up out of a complete calm and breaks over me like some huge wave coming out of the Pacific… cold and strong.

She looks so small. The signs of death are beginning to be visible. Blueness at the base of the nails, water retention in the hands and feet, and yet she seems not to suffer. I will lie down for a while.

May 7, 1998 (11:51PM)

2051 PDT

We went to give Mom her eight o’clock dose of meds. She has to be awake for this so she won’t choke. Peter couldn’t rouse her. This is the first time she could not be awakened. As I look at her there is something different. I think she is not in residence. At this moment I believe that the body still lives but the spirit has departed.

And so it goes.

I feel an emptiness that centers in my chest and moves towards my head.

May 8, 1998 (1:20AM)

2220 Pacific Time

I go to sleep now. I feel she could die any time now. Her body temperature is rising. Her
cheeks are getting hollow. Her hair is slicked back. She would have never tolerated that. Her breath comes quickly, punctuating the end of her time with us in staccato bursts. I will be up at 0400 for her meds and so for now I will say what could well be my last goodnights in this world.

May she pass with grace and soar with the angels.

She will always be in my heart.

May 8, 1998 (6:50AM)


I’m up for the morning medication. Mom is more than sleeping. She snores gently for now, her jaw slack, head leaning to the left.

We gave her medicine to her and turned her to the right. She is dead weight, her body so hot. I think how she cared for me and Peter when we were babies, held and washed us and did her best to make us feel better. I wish I could do more for her but this is the best I can do.

May 8, 1998 (10:59AM)


I spent a little time at the gym this morning but it was tough to concentrate on anything except Mom. She is not light when we turn her but she has a featherlike quality to her. Until the last day or so there was still a spiritual connection. This is gone now, but she is still Mom. Mother’s day is the day after tomorrow and Peter and I shall buy some flowers for her today. The two of us are in Dad’s old study tapping away making entries in our computers. There is a surreal quality to all this and yet I do not think it could be better.

May 8, 1998 (3:02PM)


Peter just gave Mom her 1200 medication and she is unchanged. Miriam, a rabbi from the local Jewish community is coming by this afternoon to do whatever it is that they do. I am moved.

May 8, 1998 (5:17PM)

1400 West Coast Time

Peter and I went to Mill Valley to get some flowers for Mother’s Day and when we returned Mom was dead. Rigor mortis had already set in…. She waited until Peter and I both went out and she passed from this realm. The hospice folks are coming over to
clean and dress the body and we shall sit with her tonight. Pike is on the way with my tickets and I guess we’re all making travel arrangements. I must call Vanessa.

I don’t even know what to say.

May 8, 1998 (5:30PM)

I still expect to hear her breath, to see her chest rise and fall one more time but it is really over.

The angels aren’t waiting any more. They’ve taken her home!

May 8, 1998 (7:41PM)

1641 Pacific Time

Pike came over with our tickets and while we were weeping together Miriam, the lady Rabbi came and sang songs and prayers to free Mom’s soul and send her on her way. (Rabbi Miriam Centuria}
What a voice! We were all crying, but you know they were really tears of joy. The songs centered on freeing her spirit and letting it finally go home. She has wanted to go home for so long and now I believe it is accomplished.

As she was singing the sun came out for the first time in days and the rays bathed Mom on her bed surrounded by flowers.

Truly remarkable… a miracle! It’s almost enough to make me start going to temple.

May 8, 1998 (9:03PM)

The relatives are starting to call. Amanda Nealin, Elisha’s daughter, Peter Bryson, Babe’s son. So much love passing through one family at this time. She touched so many lives. I had no idea.

I almost forgot. Peter was making bequests according to Mom’s wishes. Before we went out he read all the letters to Mom and told her that everything she wanted done was done and that her boys would be all right

And so we’re all right.

The emotion of our relatives is so moving. What an impact she made on so many,

May 8, 1998 (9:50PM)


It occurs to me, that Dad, mover and shaker on the world stage that he was, had nowhere near the impact on so many people as Mom has. My choice of mixed tenses is intentional. So many stories are coming in relating to how she impacted people’s lives in truly significant ways. I had no idea.

May 9, 1998 (10:38AM)

0738 Pacific time

The entries in this little journal are winding down. I got up this morning at 0600 and Mom was still dead. Funny how you expect things to turn out. I made some calls and sit here thinking. Peter is talking about getting his doctorate. Mom would finally have a doctor in the family. What a concept.

I am awash in a sea of generations today. There are many things I would like to hold out of this.

What a lesson.

May 9, 1998 (11:31AM)


And so we are all up doing what must be done to make our departure easy. Sera is so moved it almost overwhelms me. Peter has been a tower of strength, a rock. I could never have done this. And so it is with the difference in people. We have all dealt with this in our own way. We now wait for one or two people to come and then the hearse at noon.

And we all go back to our worlds and this interlude of life and death shall be over.

Such a moment.

May 9, 1998 (12:36PM)


But not quite yet. Peter and I played Hospice Shuffle for her one last time and tears ran down my face for the whole song, and it’s not a short one. Sera is going home for the weekend and returning Monday to take care of some things and house sit for Peter until he gets back from Utah. I went outside…. What a beautiful day today is. The smell that is
so much Northern California is in the air today. That Spring smell that has been absent with all this rain. I looked in the garage and there was a push mower. I mowed a few
blades of grass. I haven’t done that since 3312 Northampton St. when I was a kid. What a moment. Soon it will be time to let all this pass into the reservoir of memories. Life is for the living and we all go one. But what a journey into another time and place. The memory will fade until only ripples are left on the pool. But they will stay for a very long time. To be able to apprehend this, to grasp it for only a moment is such a blessing. I know there will be a withdrawal period from all this emotion and then that too shall pass.

On some days there is truth in everything and everywhere.

And with the rustle of the leafy shadows in Dad’s study we celebrate another day.

Mom died on May 8, 1998. Take note that is one year and four months to the day of Dad’s death on January 8, 1997.

Donna has just come and she kneels by Mom’s side. I go into the study to leave them alone and the tears refract the morning light like stained glass. Sera cries again and we here are one with the grief and joy. Mom leaves so much life and emotion behind her. Yet one more gift. Donna’s emotions honor us. Bea has left a mighty trail… easy to follow.

May 9, 1998 (1:28PM)


Sera sits with Mom. Donna just came with bagels and lox for us. We have all learned so much from Mom…. we agree with that. In the end we walked with giant steps. We are waiting for Jeannie, Susan Dembitz and Sara Glickstein to close this chapter. Then the hearse will come to take her away.

‘And I saw that
hearse come rolling
for to carry my Mother away….’

And now Adrianna is coming too.

Sera requested on more rendition of Song For Our Mother. She got it. I’m amazed I can sing it without blubbering. And so it goes.

May 9, 1998 (3:08PM)


The bed is empty…. only a blue plastic sheet on it now. The ladies all came. Susan recited prayers and the Kaddish. Mom’s spirit is free to go where it must and that is that. More tears, remembrances… Indeed, it could get no better. I will seek the time to grieve when I get home and I gladly await what life has in store for me. The man from the mortuary came for Mom. As we moved her from the bed to the gurney, the smell of death was apparent in its early stages. And that is part of it. We wheeled her to the hearse, her face open and upturned to the beautiful sunny day God provided for us today. She has gone home.

And that is that for now.

Requiem In Pace

May 9, 1998 (11:07PM)

2007 Pacific Time

And ending for now…. or perhaps a beginning. I will be processing this for some time to come. Mom was so much to so many, and most importantly to me. I know she loved Vanessa and was proud of the Ranch. I found she told so many people about it and glowed. In the end she died with dignity which my brother worked so hard to provide for her. The months of approaching psychosis and degrading quality of life, of swimming in Samsara perhaps more than most, lifted and in the end she went without a wrinkle on her face. She had lost the weight the edema grafted on her and she looked so much like Vera. I know she was at peace. To have been there and shared this last week with my brother and the people who she meant so much to and vice versa was a gift from God. I shall be eternally grateful. AND I was able to be sober for it, feeling each moment truly as never before. Her last gifts, her last lessons to us all. Lessons of love and compassion.

It is truly more than I could have dreamed.

I think as I sit here in the Oakland Airport that the last time I remember being here was almost fourteen years ago, fleeing Margareta. Now she is gone too and this is certainly a happier time for me and mine. I am truly blessed. A few ticket problems and delays, but how can it possibly matter. I’m sure everything will work out all right.

And so to home I go, to Vanessa and the life that is waiting to unfold. In this moment, I am walking with angels. I will try to recall this as the evening and the flight time drags on.

And so it goes.

And so we go.

Tonight I feel love!

What a wondrous journey!
May 11, 1998 (12:37PM)

Eastern Time again

The last entry in this dialogue. Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I had a momentary thought about calling Mom and sending flowers. But that is done.

Today Vanessa almost reminded me to call Mom and see how she was. And so it will go for all of us for a while.

Love makes it all worthwhile.

July 27, 1998 (11:32AM)
0830 West Coast Time

I am at the Embassy Suites with Vanessa… Peter is somewhere in the building too. The last time I was here was for Dad’s funeral a year and a half ago. My business in California is almost finished. I have already said goodbye to Mom and this interment is almost an ex post facto event. I know that Mom is in a better place and has been there for some time.

The circle shall surely be unbroken.

July 27, 1998 (3:46PM)
1246 West Coast Time

Vanessa and I have just returned from the Inglewood Cemetery. The Funeral was moving albeit brief. Mom and Dad are together resting next to Pentti and just up the road from Jacob and Ida. The sum total of a person’s life is certainly not measured by their place of rest. We are in the flight path of plane coming and going from LAX. Perhaps that is right considering how many places their beings graced. I must think more and then this set of pages will be closed.

I am surrounded by ancestors as well as walking the earth with one I love.


  1. Comment made on April 2, 2016 by Tom Graham

    Jorma: Thanks for the beautiful tribute to your mom. I met Bea at a Granite Chief Wilderness Task Force meeting in Tahoe City around 1977. She and I and several other people formed a group to lobby for wilderness protection of the 25,000-acre area north of Desolation Wilderness (west and north of Lake Tahoe from Barker Pass to the back of Squaw Valley). We voted her chair person of the group because of her firm but gentle ways… At the time, I was in my late 20s and Bea must have been my age now (68)… Long story short, our friendship grew and from that and the hard work of our group, Granite Chief became a designated wilderness area. She left quite a legacy. My belated condolences to you and your family, – Tom Graham

  2. Comment made on May 10, 2015 by Steve Goldston

    My Dad’s Mom’s side is from a small Village called Spiekov southwest of Kiev. May her Memory Be a Blessing

  3. Comment made on May 10, 2015 by Cyndy Consentino

    Dear Jorma,

    So beautifully written!

    Love to you and yours!


  4. Comment made on May 9, 2015 by andriy

    The lyrics to this song “Rio Grande (Bomber’s Moon)” can’t be found anywhere else on internet, now the song is here forever.

    Ronnie Lane and Ian Stewart would sing songs in private times and Barbara Jacobs would sing with them, Ronnie invite her to add new lyrics. She wrote and sang:

    “The nights I sleep in my bed
    thinking thoughts in my head
    just to dream us

    Today I say: It’s the day
    maybe now it’s okay
    between us

    I was thinking about all the love
    that we had between us
    So I gave you a call
    said I miss you and all
    let’s redeem us

    Then you answered my call
    said “What was it all for –
    let’s not do that no more –
    and stay together forever
    on the shore of the Rio Grande”

    There are tapes of these private sing-alongs, also some films.
    Barbara can’t sing but she knows how to write good lyrics.

  5. Comment made on May 9, 2015 by mulv

    Thanks, again.

  6. Comment made on May 9, 2015 by Steve Levenson

    Love does make it all worthwhile. I think it’s love that gets us through in those terrible times when death passes us by, and takes those we care for. I know I fear the death of others than I do my own.
    As an aside, my maternal grandmother’s name was Gittel as well. Her maiden name was Gittle Gibble. After all these years I still smile about that….and coincidently my youngest is Benjamin Samuel, and the last name is pretty close.

  7. Comment made on May 9, 2015 by andriy

    for Jorma and anybody seeking to reconcile, this is a very nice song by Ronnie Lane: “Rio Grande (Bomber’s Moon)”

    Well I’ve been thinking about the time we crossed the border
    Stars in my ears, the moon building down on the water
    Yes I’ve been thinking about how young we were and fearless
    To hope and to hold that moment so old and so timeless

    Yes I had it once in the palm of my hand just like quicksilver
    Oh I had it once till I looked by the shore stood your daughter
    And your mother and your father and your sister and your brother
    And anyone just gonna get in who wanted to go across the Rio Grande

    I was thinking I was trying to catch the way it was between us
    Seems like gone, and it’s gone on down like a stone in the water
    Oh I had it once like a light in my life will last forever
    Yes I had it once in the palm of my hand just like quicksilver

    Oh I had it once till I looked by the shore stood your daughter
    And your mother and your father and your sister and your brother
    And anyone just gonna get in who wanted to go across the Rio Grande

  8. Comment made on May 9, 2015 by jim hitchcock

    My Dad and Mom have resided in the the last row of the Easternmost edge of Inglewood Cemetery since ’91 and ’92 respectively, and since we lived off Aviation between the two runway approaches to LAX for nearly 50 years, I find the overflights of planes landing there comforting.

    Oh the songs that could be sung by those who rest there.

    • Comment made on May 10, 2015 by Jorma

      Yeah Jim… that Inglewood Cemetery is host to Jorma & Beatrice Kaukonen, Ida and Jaako Kaukonen and Pentti Kaukonen. There they all rest as neighbors for all time.

      “We’re all travelers in this world. From the sweet grass to the packing house. Birth ’til death. We travel between the eternities.”

  9. Comment made on May 9, 2015 by Angela

    I’m very moved by your words…I spent my Mom’s last days with her in much the same way you did. Time and space alter during that time, and whether you have a spiritual practice or not, well, you do during that vigil. It’s a very powerful time in life, witnessing someone make the transition.

    So, Happy Mother’s Day to all of our Mom’s who have moved on, and to all of those still with us!

  10. Comment made on May 9, 2015 by Bill

    Having lost both my parents and recently my wife, I appreciated this memorial to a dignified death and to the differences between spiritual and physical mortality. Thanks so much for sharing. May you and Peter find love and common ground.


  11. Comment made on May 9, 2015 by mikie

    I was in DeMolay when I was a kid, and we did this Rose Ceremony every year for our moms. Here’s the poem that went with it, sorry it is not in phrase format but you’ll get the idea. m

    Ohio Demolay Tribute to Motherhood
    Written by Rev. Robert Chable Sr.
    Sr. Demolay (deceased)

    God thought to give the sweetest thing in His almighty power to earth, and deeply wondering what it should be one hour, in fondest joy and of heart outweighing every other, He cast the gates of heaven apart, and gave to earth a mother. Why?For save in heaven there’s a name so sweet so hallowed, deep from the heart it leaps, It springs and softly hovers on the lips and sings of love and joy and happiness, There’s never a heartbeat out of time never a nature out of rhyme, with mother.
    The mother sending forth her child to meet with cares and strife. breathes through her tears, her hopes, her fears for that loved one’s future life. No cold “Adieu” or “farewell” lives beneath her chocking sighs, but the deepest story of anguish gives. “God bless thee son goodbye.”
    So you see, there are many, many reasons why we love you mother dear though tonight we’re not repeating all we’ve told you through the years; but everloving wishes and our thoughts so fond and true will be in our hearts for always, just because dears you are you. For there’s a well worn path and it leads straight through the lanes of our hearts ’till it comes to you ! And the vines of love and the flowers of cheer bloom there all seasons of the year.But on this night they bloom anew with the best wishes, all for you.
    So, count your garden by flowers, and never by the leaves that fall. Count your days by golden hours, and don’t remember clouds at all. Count your nights by stars, not shadows, count your life with smiles, not tears.And on this night when you we honor, count your age by friends not years.
    For God has not promised skies always blue, Nor flower strewn pathways all our lives through. Nor has God promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow or peace without pain. But God has promised strength for the day, rest for the laborer, light on the way, grace for your trials and help from above, His unfailing sympathy, His undying love.
    So mothers, just for yourselves were these thoughts tonight, for you and you only dears. The hopes that are known in our hearts alone and the love that we’re sending here. And just for yourselves is this one loving wish, that all that is fine and true, may bless you as truly as we have been blessed by the gift of your love and by you.

    Have a Grateful day! m

  12. Comment made on May 8, 2015 by andriy

    I read in dictionary the word “mother” has some definition like
    a female parent, to give birth to,
    source, to produce,
    to care for or protect like a mother.

    Vanessa is a female parent gives the care for and protects. She is the best mother.
    Some babies and grown people need to be saved and need a mother to rescue them.

  13. Comment made on May 8, 2015 by Brett

    Thanks Jorma

  14. Comment made on May 8, 2015 by Andriy

    This writing by you for your memories of your mother is so beautiful. Now she live on in your memories and here for us to read. Jorma, I tell you now about my mother is finally here in Brooklyn to live with me is her first mothers day in usa. Her name is. Dahlia like the flower. Dahlia goes to school to learn the job of home care companion so she will have work with senior people they speak Russian and Ukraine language. I Am happy and dahlia is happy to be here. Thank you for sharing this with us here. This is very beautiful to read.

  15. Comment made on May 8, 2015 by Joey Hudoklin

    Thank you Jorma for again sharing this.
    Losing my Mother in 2008 was perhaps the most emotional experience of my life, and led no doubt to my re-birth as a sober man on the planet.
    Your writing is poignant, and really brings me to a vision of that place between life and death.
    We all shine on.
    Happy Mothers day to all Moms out there!

  16. Comment made on May 8, 2015 by John B

    I cried last year when I read this and once again just now. I lost Dad five years ago but not before I was able to take him and my oldest son on a trip to five National Parks over a two week period. That trip Jorma came about after I read a post from you about a trip that you had made with your Dad to the upper mid- west I think. I was persistent with my dad in trying to cajole him into going with us and at last he agreed. The illness that would carry him away from us manifested itself only a short time after we returned home. I miss my Dad and every time I come to the Fur Peace Station I am drive through the wonderful wild and rugged state of West Virginia and I am reminded of him as he was born and raised there. To wrap it all up Jorma Mothers Day is a special Day and once again it is right around the corner. My Mom is still with us and I am reminded of the commandment to ‘Honor thy Mother and thy Father so that you may live long in the land’. As a young boy the word had a different meaning for me then they do now at age 60. I am blessed to have Mom still in my life and the word honor has a new meaning. @Hamneggs

  17. Comment made on May 8, 2015 by Al Karman


    Your beautiful poignant words brought my insides to life.

    My mom passed suddenly in July. I was blessed to live with her for the last 3 months.

    Your stream-of-consciousness prose may help my first Mothers Day without one….and my dad passed suddenly in 1963.

    Thank you for the wonderful thoughts and sharing such a uniquely personal time.

    Your music has been a glue holding my head together…keep it coming, and thank you.


    Al Karman

  18. Comment made on May 8, 2015 by Hamneggs

    As always I thank you for eloquently sharing you thoughts, dreams and hopes with us.
    I hope that somehow the distance between you and your brother can be brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
    Perhaps someone reading this and on more intimate terms with both Peter and you could mediate. ( I myself would help chip in for the 11 foot pole if need be.)
    My mother and her sister were estranged over something for many years and only began to reconcile when they both lost an adult child within a month of each other. I’m sure the loss put things in perspective. My sister and my cousin were born within a few months of each other.
    One of my mother’s concerns as she approached her passing was people, especially the young not having Faith. I would have loved to show her some of the beautiful passages you have been writing. (She enjoyed when Quah was on almost as much as when I played Melanie.)
    But it is strange in your family. I don’t know about a black sheep but it did at one time have a Black Kangaroo. The original bass player on the first ,legendary Jefferson Starship tour in 74. Grace in Kabuki make up tearing apart the Academy of Music by opening with Sunrise from Blows. Peter I believe also taught Craig Chaquico to play with his teeth and behind his back. His solo album had a cover of Up or Down.
    Now I apologize if I’ve babbled to much but my own theory on the rift is that during the Jefferson Airplane Tour in 89 you left the stage whenever Miracles was played and Peter had to stay on stage. So I hope at this years Beacon show Mr. Balin again accompanies you and smiles as you and Peter play Miracles and Jack leads the assault into Up or Down. I expect Marty will need assistance for that one since a few years ago ha backed aways from Turrn my life down saying he couldn’t hit it any more.
    Jorma, to you and your family and friends
    Love All Ways

  19. Comment made on May 8, 2015 by toddn

    G-d bless you and your family J.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *