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, “I keep forgetting things,” but at her age, I think we’ll forgive her. Extremely independent, still 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. For her, every day is a new adventure.
With her vision increasingly getting worse, I tried to convince her that a cleaning lady was not a luxury but a necessity. My mom is not convinced and isn’t ready for change. Shopping online for groceries is not the way of her future, preferring to shop in person, and savour every moment while handpicking her produce and searching out the deals. Btw, I’ve witnessed first hand what she can pack in her shopping bags! Where does she put it? Did I mention she still bakes her own bread? My mom is always cheerful, she sometimes gets frustrated, commenting “I’m getting old” but for the most part, has a great outlook on life.
I can remember my mom and her phone calls, sitting on an old kitchen stool, tea towel draped over one shoulder and talking on with her friends. As a child, I would plead with her to get off her call, which would sometimes last for hours. My mother didn’t drive, so the phone was her link to the outside world. She was 62 when she finally did get her driver’s license. Friends would always drop by, “just in the neighbourhood”, my mom would scramble to the deep freeze, pulling out a zucchini loaf or the 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 having to say, make friends, it happened through osmosis. I instinctually knew my friends were an extension of my family. Like my mother, we both share a bond with our friends.
There’s a great phrase, “a reason, a season, a lifetime” referring to friendships. I love this and I’m sure we can all relate this to certain friendships. Edna has had years of” lifetime” friendships, 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.