At mom’s memorial, both Fletcher and I spoke from basic notes, so there’s no fully-polished piece to post here. Clarification for folks who may have tracked the Linton family but not kept up with every detail: Mark Fletcher Linton went by “Mark” growing up, but goes by “Fletcher” now and has done so for more than a decade.
I’ve tinkered with his notes a tiny bit, in order to try to make them slightly more comprehensible to the uninitiated… but (as with even the full transcripts I’ve posted so far) you had to be there to get the full effect…
Fletcher delivered this Margaret Gerhardt Linton remembrance at her memorial at Tustin Presbyterian Church on Saturday August 6th 2011.
Who she made me:
Nuts and Bolts: (any parent, I hope) Diapers, Food Clothing, Shelter, Education
Culture: She gave me the things that made me who I am, the things I pass on to my kids:
- Beatles [movie] Marathon (Oxy [Occidental College])
- [Mozart’s opera The] Magic Flute
- Occidental [College] Summer Stock (Gilbert & Sullivan)
- Monty Python (PBS – 70s)
- Apple Pies (Crust) [Joe’s note: Fletcher is a phenomenal baker, and he uses the pie crust recipe that mom taught him, that mom learned at Home Economics class at Montebello High School]
Friendship: Bike Ride (Montana de Oro/Morro Bay), Correspondence, Encouragement
Patience with mistakes – Unconditional Love (even when I was being, as she was fond of saying in jest, “an ungrateful wretch”)
Speaking of Love…
How she loved me:
Told me how proud she was of who I am, my life, my family, my education, my work.
Although we didn’t get to say goodbye it does not matter
– the last time I saw her with my children Rachel, Owen and [mom’s close friend] Michael at a wonderful Gilbert & Sullivan play Trial by Jury
she said how much she loved me and my family, and we gave her our love right back
When we said goodbye to her father, my grandfather (William Gerhardt) in this very church (28 years ago) I came, to believe (in time) that he wasn’t really gone he was (of course) a part of me.
To quote Monty Python in the Parrot Sketch – rather than believing that mom has “run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible !!”
I know Marge is just “tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk and pining for the fjords.”
Marge is alive in me, and alive in everyone who had the pleasure of being touched, of being loved of, and in (in my/our case) being created by her !
I can say without a doubt – my mom is not just a part of me – she is most of me, the best of me !