By G. E. Shuman
For the past week, my family and I have been enjoying a summer visit from my mom. Mom stays with us for a week or so each summer and then moves on to Maine to visit two of my sisters and their families who live there. This time of year, she flies to the North from her home in sunny Florida, avoiding both that state’s very hot summers and our very cold winters. She is a smart lady.
She’s also an amazing lady. You might remember from a previous article or two my mentioning that my wife and I have both recently retired. This means that we’re not exactly newlyweds or teenagers anymore. This also means that my mom isn’t either. (I think she needed to be born several years before me to be able to give birth to me, but I’m no doctor.) In support of this idea, last February she celebrated her 95th birthday. Her party was a blast! I was there and I actually have pictures of her at that party, playing the bongos and doing the limbo (Not at the same time, but let’s give her a break.) while her younger guests were sitting around eating cake! Last December she was also seen sitting on Santa’s lap, and just two years ago was caught sitting on my sister in law’s Harley, helmet and all!
Mom lives by herself in her own home, although a few male suitors have recently attempted to change that. She was driving her car until a few months ago and still makes her yearly flights north and south, by herself. (Just between you and me, I think she likes that the airports have her use a wheelchair. They take her right to her gate and she’s always the first one on and off the plane.) As I said, she’s a smart lady.
This amazing woman lives on coffee, donuts, hotdogs, etcetera, (She’s not exactly a health food nut.) and always has a whole drawer full of chocolate in her kitchen for those male suitors to get into when they visit. (She is often teased that her REAL boyfriend is named Russell Stover.) Mom loves a breakfast of eggs, toast, and home fries at almost any “old-fashioned diner” as she calls them. (We’ve visited The Wayside twice this week. Great food!) With all of this, she amazes her doctors with her low blood sugar, perfect blood pressure, great cholesterol levels, and general good health. Amazing!
To me, most of all and best of all is my Mom’s great attitude and outlook on life. Those things are probably why she is still going strong. Although her body is in constant pain from arthritis, her mind is as sharp as a tack. Despite her pain, Mom will always have a smile for you. She tells perfect strangers how good God has been to her, and always finds the good in others, too. Looking on the bright side doesn’t seem to be a choice to her, it is a way of life. I wish I was more like her.
Readers, I know this has been a personal column, and I hope you understand why I chose to write it. I mean sincerely that if we were all a bit more like my mom the world would be a much better place. Besides, it’s hard to not brag when you have just been visited by the best mother on the planet.
I love you Mom. Please come to Vermont again soon!