So, my mom turns 88 today. 

I can't say enough about what she means to me, my wife and kids and the rest of our extended family. Any of you that know my family, know that she has been through so much in those 88 years, not the least of which is the current pandemic. Her story is written in her children and that is her single biggest and most beautiful legacy. Seven children, 14 grandchildren and a handful of great grandchildren. Add to that, a host of my cousins, a few stepsiblings and random other people that have adopted her as their mom, and, well, it's a lot. 

Sarah's Graduation. Much of Mom's legacy.

Mom goes by three different names, depending on how you are related. She's Mom to us kids, of course. To her daughter and sons in-law, she's Mary or Mary Lou, and to her grandchildren and great grandchildren, she's known as Nanny. That is what her own mother went by as a grandmother, and she inherited it or took ownership maybe, 

Mom/Mary/Nanny is still in good health and gets out and about when she can. In fact, she just went to Memphis with my brother in his big camper trailer and had a great time. She's looking forward to going to the cabin in Mercer, Wisconsin this Labor Day, if the reservations all work out. She plays cards (500?) at least once a week with other folks in her complex. She's part of a book group that meets monthly or so and has a slight addiction to a couple of computer games on her laptop. 

It is tough to slow her down.

And, you know what? That is how I want to be at her age. I want to go to Graceland in my 80s. I've

already been there, but I'd do it again just to say I did it. ("I'm 80 and I'm goin' ta Graceland!") I want to be in a book group in my 80s. It is books and reading and the social interaction that goes with it that keeps your mental acuity. I want to be around people in my 80s. Every time I call my mom on my biweekly call, she is either hosting a person for dinner or on her way out the door to a potluck (At least pre-pandemic she was. That's dropped off some, for sure.)

She continues to engage and be truly interested in my kids and their lives. She makes it a point to recognize their achievements, birthdays and milestones. It has really never been about Mom. Best of all, she can laugh at herself, perhaps the quality I inherited the most from her. We all do dumb things at some point and being able to recognize it and get a healing laugh out of it is a good and healthy thing. It keeps a person humble.

Wedding Day Ride

We are fortunate enough to have been vaccinated and be in the Twin Cities to help her celebrate it. We missed last year's drive-by socially distant 87th, so made it a point to come this year. 

It will be good to see her tomorrow for brunch as she visit's my daughter and her boyfriend's new house in Minneapolis. I am just hopeful she can linger a bit and not have somewhere else to be! 

Happy Birthday Mom! 

I love you!

Blogging off...

Mom and me in Santa Barbara, CA.


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