My mother’s 95th birthday is fast approaching and it’s another year that I’m grateful for everything she has done and taught me. Edna, is of sound mind, thank you very much, although, she would argue with me, “I keep forgetting things,” but at her age, I think we’ll forgive her. Extremely independent, living in a condo on her own, she keeps herself busy with coffee mornings, walks with the neighbours, potluck dinners and strata meetings. Not only has my mother managed to connect with great people over the years, I truly believe it has kept her happy and young at heart, everyday is a new adventure.
With her vision increasingly getting worse, I finally convinced her that a cleaning lady is not a luxury but a necessity and she is not convinced that online grocery shopping is the way of her future. With dietary restrictions and an occasional “sigh” of what she’s not allowed to eat, I’ve witnessed first hand what she can pack away in her shopping bags, savouring every moment, choosing her produce and finding “deals”. Did I mention she still bakes her own bread? That said, she’s always cheerful, sometimes a bit frustrated due to “I’m getting old” but on the most part, has a great outlook on life.
For as long as I can remember, my mom would be sitting on the kitchen stool with a tea towel draped over one shoulder, talking on the phone with her friends,…..as a child, I would plead with her to get off her call, sometimes hours would pass. My mother didn’t drive, so the phone was her link to the outside world. She would be 62 when she finally did get her driver’s license. Friends would always drop by, “just in the neighbourhood”….mom, scrambling to the deep freeze to pull out a zucchini loaf or next best thing, banana bread. Visits would last for hours and sometimes into the evening. Is it just a coincidence that I too would surround myself with friends, spending hours on the phone as I got older? I didn’t have any siblings and so without my mother saying, go make friends, it happened through osmosis, I instinctually knew that my friends were my “special” family. And like my mother, we both share a bond between our friends.
There’s a great phrase, “a reason, a season, a lifetime” referring to friendships. It’s true, I’m sure we can all peg certain friendships into any of one these categories. Edna has had years of” lifetime” friends, a lot of them have passed away but she still remembers “those days” like they were yesterday. I myself have been fortunate to have several “lifetime” friends and the list continues to grow. I know for certain, my “lifetime” friends, will have my back, fight for me, give me a shoulder to cry on and tell me how it really is……
As for my mom, Edna, also my “lifetime” friend, she has taught me to embrace, enjoy, be tolerant and surround myself with these “special” friends. Cherish today, remember yesterdays, tomorrow comes quickly and old age hits you fast.