Saturday, July 28, 2007

Aging can be beautiful

I can't remember if I've introduced you to my mother. I know she slips into just about everything I write. She's the number one influence in my life -- even more than editors, teachers, and preachers. As my mother goes, so go I.

She taught me the important lessons from ironing hankies and pillow slips, to canning tomato juice. She also taught me the truly important lessons of courtesy, thoughtfulness, service, caring and love. She's much better at all of these than I am. Probably the biggest failure in my education (my fault, not hers) were pie baking and keeping my mouth shut.

I know it isn't courteous to tell a woman's age, but Mom won't mind. She turned 95 in March. Born a month before the Titanic sank, she's seen alot of history and survived it all. Now she lives not far from the community in which she spent the first 90 years of her life surrounded by people who are offsprings of her peers and neighbors.

I never thought I would say good things about nursing homes -- the last place any of us want to be confined. Yet, the love and care and effort made to keep Mom well and help her have a delightful day, each and every day, earns my respect and affection. Those of you at Richland Manor -- you are the greatest. Thanks Pam, Terry, Frances, Ericka, and all of the others who spend their working hours making Mom's life happy and comfortable. And my brother and his wife have dedicated themselves to overseeing Mom's care. They are awesome.

Don't get the wrong idea. Mom isn't ready to be propped up in the corner yet. She just went on a cruise last week and is busy contributing to the common good -- through word and deed, with a witty rapport and with her greatest gift, perhaps, her loving heart which is connected directly to her smile.

Although I live hundreds of miles away, Mom is by my side, even closer than that. I look at my hands and see hers. I'm even turning gray and getting wrinkles -- just like hers. If I have to age, I hope it is as gracefully and beautifully as Mom....


Ruth D~ said...

Your mom is beautiful. I'm not going to believe it if she is anything more than 65 in that picture. What a nice gift this post is for your mother. And to the nursing home.

Marijke Durning said...

Happy birthday to your mom! She looks gorgeous and you are a very lucky daughter.

I hope my daughter is as thoughtful as you are when we get to that stage in our lives.