My mother has loved 3 men in her life. Her father, her boyfriend from high school and Morton Rosen. They are friends, they have been for the last 10 years. He turned 91 on May 17th and died yesterday June 20th. He has been like family, the kind of family that you like other people to meet. He laughed easy, he teased my mom regularly and lovingly, never taking her too seriously, or himself. Morton never married or had any kids. Not completely sure why, but he never seemed like someone who is full of regrets. He had a pretty good time while he was here. Always full of great stories about gold panning, battling a bear, living close to avocado trees, travelling, and doing all kinds of work, meeting all kinds of people, and making himself laugh as much as anyone, more of a snicker actually. In the last 10 years he was spending time with my Mom, I had never seen her so comfortable with anyone, maybe because for the first time in her adult life, she felt accepted and safe with a man.
My friends that have met Morton, love him, he was hard not to love. I think I aspire, as do many people I know, to be more like Morton, to shrug things off, to laugh easy, and to still be flirting in to my 90’s. When he went in to the hospital a few months ago, his walls were bare and there were no flowers, so I brought him some photos to put on the bulletin board in front of his bed, so he could see me, my friend Marge and my Mom. I hadn’t gone to see him since they moved him to the Louis Brier Hospital. I felt bad. I said I would come by the weekend after his birthday and I never did. I will miss him, very much. I will miss him more than my own father, because he gave us a great gift, late in our lives, my mom and me.