Mom Reaches A Big Milestone!

Yesterday my mom turned 95 years old. Now that’s something to be proud of. She had a little dress rehearsal on the previous Saturday when our daughter and son-in-law were able to come up from the Washington, D.C. area for the weekend. We took BBQ ribs over to the care facility, presents, and a cake and had a little party for Mom.

The day got off to an interesting start when I sent daughter, Laura off to Mom’s room to fetch her down to the private lounge while I decorated for her party. When Laura wheeled Mom in, I asked if Laura had the chance to meet Mom’s new roommate. She looked at me askance and said, “Well, she was yelling, “Help, I’m dying” over and over. I asked her several times if I could help her or get a nurse for her but each time she’d just look me over and then go back to yelling. I did alert a nurse before we came down here but I couldn’t see that she was having any real problems.”

“Oh, my,” I thought.

We had a great meal. Mom had been craving BBQ ribs since Mother’s Day so she dug right in. Her friend, Beverly and husband Denis were able to join us and we all had fun eating and chatting before it was time to open the presents, Mom’s favorite part.

She was appreciative of the new clothes but her eyes REALLY lit up when she opened the candy. Beverly always knows how to put a sparkle in Mom’s eyes…truffles or peanut butter bears. This time, she brought both for Mom. Faster than we could say, “Would you like one, Mom?” she had a peanut butter bear out of the box and into her mouth.

Luckily she still had room for the cake as did we, after the chocolate was passed around the room. Let’s hope the facility dietician doesn’t see all this stash in her room. On the other hand, at 95 years old, I figure she has earned the right to eat all the chocolate she wants, especially since they tell me she usually has no interest in eating.

That brings us up to Mom’s actual birthday yesterday. I went on over to have lunch with Mom. She was all decorated up with balloons on her wheelchair and a special glow about her. Mom loves a good party as long as it’s a dry one. No alcohol for this former deaconness, thank you very much! Cooks, wait staff, and nurses came up to Mom and gave her big hugs and best wishes in the dining room. The Chaplain stopped by to congratulate her.

“How old are you now?” he teased. “Are you 69?”

“No,” replied Mom, firmly. “I’m 95.”

One of the other residents at the next table kept waving at Mom and she would wave back. Then it escalated to “Whee!” from the other table. “Whoopee!” shouted Mom in return. After about two minutes of that, I had to give Mom a little nudge and “shush” because the lights were being dimmed for the prayer before lunch.

It was a great lunch accompanied by a volunteer who was playing many old songs on the piano as we dined. Mom would occasionally break out into song, singing along with the piano…..even harmonizing. I told her that not many people can say that they have had a concert for their birthday party. Near the end of lunch, Beverly stopped by to say “hi” and also our church’s Director of Music, Phil Cockrell.

As I prepared to leave after lunch, I reflected on the words of wisdom she had shared with all of us on Saturday when asked what she had learned in her 95 years. “Look up, laugh, love, and lift,” she had said. It’s been a motto that has served her well. And I thought about another piece of advice that she has given me over the years. “If you think about others, you won’t have time to sit around and feel blue,” she’d say.

Well, Mom. Here’s to you! May we continue to enjoy the favor of your presence for years to come. You’ve taught us the value of friendship, the benefit of hard work, the thrill of scholarship, the treasure of family, and the joy of our Faith by the life you have lived. Happy Birthday!


One Response

  1. What a great celebration! Loved reading the post and enjoyed the pictures. My grandma will be 95 in May! She still lives by herself in Dillsburg and gets out for a trip to Giant once a week.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful memory!

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