In Memory of Doris Diaz Gregory (1926-2013)

Photo of Mom and DadAlthough this post is in memory of my mother who passed away on Sunday, this photograph is dedicated to my dad. While I was visiting my parents two weeks ago, I overheard my dad telling mom that his favorite photograph was the one where they were running on the beach in Puerto Rico after they had married. My dad was trying to engage my mom in conversation but she was too weak to respond. I had been photographing my mother and things in the house that evoked strong feelings of her. I knew she would be leaving us soon and I needed to have something tangible of my mother, something that would not fade with the passage of time. With Mom’s assistance, we created this photograph. The images I captured were my mother’s departing gift to me. This one photo is for you Dad. In memory of a life fully lived and lives fully shared.

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21 comments
  1. Hildy Diaz said:

    We have this photo, Beate and it truly shows the joy they have shared, not only when they were young, but during their long time they had together. Your Mom has created a big void in our heart. We miss her. love aunt Hildy

  2. Margarita Montalvo said:

    You had me in tears! I forwarded it to some of our friends who knew her.

    Braulio has tried calling Peter several times, and there is no answer…nor a reply to leave messages. Is he with Tom in CA already?

    Abrazos, Margarita

    • Dad is home. Try again. I just got off the phone with him. Thank you for all your kind words and the emails. I appreciate your thoughts. We will continue to stay in touch. My mom was so touched by your friendship. I am so glad you were able to visit her before she died. I’m sure it meant a lot to her. Dad leaves for SF on Sunday but he has been really busy with social visits with friends…thank goodness.

      Love,

      Beate

  3. Carolyn Cowan said:

    Dear Beate,
    I am so sorry to hear about your mother’s death. We have such fond memories of you visiting us in Berkeley with them after your USC time with Joanna there. Thanks for the lovely photo of your parents at the beginning of their relationship. How comforting it must have been for both of them to have you with them during this time. My deep condolences to you and to your father, Peter.

    Warmly, Carolyn Cowan

    • Thank you so much Carolyn. We also have special memories of our visit together. I will pass your thoughts onto my dad.

  4. deboracartagena said:

    Very sentimental blog posting…Do you happen to recall which beach in PR this picture was taken at?

    • Thanks Debra. I have no idea about the beach but I will ask my dad the next time I speak with him.

      By the way, have you ever gotten Aji-dulce here in Atlanta. My sofrito does not taste the same as mom’s without it?

      Beate

  5. Joanna White said:

    Oh I am so sad to hear. I have just been telling Kennen how fun your mom was! I remember our crazy adventures on that Albuquerque trip. Best to your dad and your whole family. Love, Joanna

  6. Ann List said:

    Dear Beate, Margarita forwarded your post and I was very much touched by such a thoughtful tribute to your parents’ life together. As a neighbor, I always enjoyed seeing your mom – and have fond memories of her energy and wisdom. Thank you for your wonderful remembrance.

  7. sally muir said:

    I am so sorry and sad for your loss Beate. What a beautiful tribute to your parents and the love they shared for so many years. I know they must have experienced great pride in you and all the beautiful art you have created.

  8. Marguerite Foxon said:

    This is quite wonderful Beate – what a wonderful gift to your Dad and what a wonderful way to memorialize your mother too. See her frail hand holding that photo brought tears to my eyes. My condolences to you in your loss – my mother died about the same age, though sadly I was not with her but had seen her three weeks before hand when she looked wonderful. I think she was just waiting for me to come and visit, and after I left apparently she just went to bed at the nursing home where she was and basically lay down and died. I have the last photo I took of her on my desk and she is a picture of health and looking radiant. I miss her every day, and you will miss your mother too. Peace M

    ________________________________

  9. Becky Nicolaides said:

    Oh Beate, so saddened to hear the news about your mom. But this is also such a loving, beautiful tribute. I can see her spirit and energy in this photo. It’s really an amazing way to capture that, and hold onto it always. Sending you lots of love and hugs. xo Becky

  10. Walt Wager said:

    Very touching. There is a message there for all of us.
    Our condolences,
    Walt & Barbara

    • So kind of the two of you to send your thoughts. All the messages I have received from friends and family have made this transition so much easier. You are both appreciated!

  11. Janet Hastings said:

    Beate- thank you for the photo and story- your sharing this personal moment is a gift to me (perhaps others) who have said good bye to our moms- I, too, cant take my eyes off your mom’s beautiful hand and the joyful picture of Doris and Peter fromearlier days- Sending all my love to you and your family at this time. janet

    • I always felt my mom was special but it wasn’t until she passed away that I felt the impact of that deep connection. Thank you for your beautiful comment Janet.

  12. Beate- What a beautiful remembrance of your mother! I’m so sorry for your loss. I didn’t get to tell you at APG how very special I thought your photos were. These photos will become even more beautiful to you in the years to come.

  13. Susan said:

    Beate, This is a beautiful and very touching photograph. Thank you, and many fond regards to you. I am thinking of you and your family.

  14. Lilly Rivera said:

    Dearest Beate, It has taken me some time to find the right words to tell you how sorry I am for your family’s loss. Doris was a wonderful person, generous, funny. And Chris adored his Giagia. They share a bond that knew no time or space. Doris told me the story of how Peter and she met, and this photo captured that moment. Perhaps we let too much time lapsed since she and I last spoke but I loved her very much and she was an important part in my life. I will always remember her and sometimes see her wit in Chris. Take care of Papou and please convey my condolences to him and Tom.

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