Wednesday, February 27, 2013
85 -- and counting
Today, my mother is 85.
She won't mind if I tell you. Notwithstanding the nonsense about not asking a lady her age. After all, it is a landmark birthday. Especially, when people tell her: "You can't be that old."
The comment is not new to her. When she was a model instructor in her early 30s, her students could not believe she was the mother of a sixth grader.
I attribute it, in part, to her Scottish genes. Her grandfather died at 100 -- or 110, the records are a bit muddled -- while on a pleasure trip. She seems to be blessed with the constitution of the Queen Mother -- without the gin lubrication.
When she was born at home in Powers. the world was a different place. Telephones and automobiles were as rare as women in professions.
But she was always a pioneer of change. When my father took her home to meet the aunt and uncle who had raised him, she came face to face with a rural tradition where women ate in the kitchen and the men ate in the dining room.
Not her. She grabbed a chair, sat next to my Dad's Uncle Noble, and was the unexpected belle of the table.
She made success look easy. As a mother. A political activist. A world traveler. A church leader. She turned difficulties into learning experiences. And bore the glow of a golden girl.
85 years of life find her as an avid computer user, smartphone aficionado, and a driver with the attributes of Stirling Moss.
This day is not going to go unnoticed. At 7:40 this morning, I board a shuttle to Bend.
What we are going to do, I know not. And it doesn't matter. We are not a family of planners. After all, this is not a day of merely doing something. It is a day for our small family to celebrate a life that keeps on giving.
Happy birthday, Mom.