Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother’s Day

I’ve never been a Mother’s Day (or any other Hallmark holiday) fan but now that I’m older and my mother is no longer with us, I find it a perfect day to reflect.  This time of year is difficult as besides Mother’s Day, by mother passed away on May 22nd and her birthday was June 8th.  The good news is that I get all of these “days” over within about a month.

Geraldine Martin was born in Fresno on June 8, 1928 – she sure was a cutie!

Geraldine c 1928

Mom seemed to have a difficult childhood and didn’t talk about it much.  As I got deeper into this journey she shared a few tidbits with me but for the most part, it seemed like her life started when she met my dad.  Her parents divorced when she was about 10 so photos with her dad are almost non-existent.  But I was able to find one of the family together with her paternal grandmother.

Clara_Earle_Gerry_Francis Brooks cropped
Clara Fitzgerald Martin, Francis Brooks Martin, Earle Martin
Geraldine Martin

After a few years of moving around and staying with relatives, Mom found her way back to Fresno in time to enter High School.  I don’t think it was long before she had a new beau – my dad, Gordon Levy!  I love how she signed this photo – I wonder who was more smitten with who.

Lovingly Gerry

After high school, Mom ended up at Stanford with Dad.  She always said she didn’t “follow” him but I’m not sure who she was trying to kid.  And once they both graduated, it was time to get married.  Mom was a beautiful bride!

Geraldine 9_3_1950

Then came kids and a chance to pose for photos.  Unfortunately, the professional photos seemed to be more prevalent during the early years and before little brother joined the family. 


And just like that, the years had flown by and before she knew it, Mom had grandchildren.  I’m sure glad we were able to capture this photo with four generations but geez, what was going on with my hair?

Clara Fitzgerald_Erinn Austen_Geraldine Martin_Debi Levy_Megan Austen
Clara Fitzgerald Martin Hunter, Daughter #1, Geraldine Martin Levy, Me, Daughter #2  (c. 1981)

In later years, we tried to get together to celebrate Mom when we could.  I think she was happy that we were able to be with her for her 80th birthday.

Gerry 80th birthday

Mom and Dad loved to vacation in Kauai and visited every year around Memorial Day.  Once Dad was gone, Mom continued to go by herself and loved to putter around the island and visit her favorite restaurants.  After a few years of that, she said she wasn’t sure she could do it any longer but she wanted to go back one last time with the kids.  Us?  Vacation in Kauai?  How could we say no?

I don’t know why we didn’t take many pictures while we were there but we did manage this while we were out to lunch (Kauai = restaurants in Mom’s world).

And now here we are the 3rd Mother’s Day without Mom.  Still seems hard to believe she isn’t with us any longer but we have some great memories (and photos!) to remember her by.  Miss you, Mom!


  1. What a wonderful collection of photos, Debi, and a great photo story! Super tribute to your mom!

  2. Beautiful memories and a wonderful collection of pictures to remember her and her life by.

    1. I have a lot of pictures but the details of her early life are few and far between.

  3. What a touching collection of memories. I am sorry for your loss. (And I feel the same way about Mother's Day being a Hallmark holiday.)

    1. I will say that I think Valentines Day is the worst one of all.

  4. Your mom was so beautiful and never lost that amazing smile. Lovely tribute for Mother's Day.

    1. Sometimes she got a little carried away with the smile :-)