100 Years Old

Yesterday John mentioned that it would have been his mother’s 100th birthday. Our grandson Nathaniel latched onto that, and between the two of them, they hatched a plan to celebrate. It may have been while we were in a restaurant after church that they asked me what Mom’s favorite dessert was. Without hesitating, I said it was lemon meringue pie. After the words left my mouth, I began to have doubts. I remembered she made a wonderful plum cobbler that no one else did, but that didn’t mean it was her favorite. John remembered rhubarb with the same conclusion. Anyone who reads this is welcome to correct us. I offered to make lemon curd if we’d get an angel cake on the way home, that being a dessert that would come close to being on our nutritionists’ approval list. Nathaniel held out for pie, the real thing. The two fellows disappeared into the supermarket while I glanced at the newspaper in the car. They came back with lemon cream pie, a most reasonable substitute. I found only the topping was different – whipped cream instead of meringue.  All three of us blew out the candle.

071915 N JC lemon pie for Mom's 100th
                                                                        Nathaniel and John

I looked at my photographs, picking out the first picture I took of Mom just before our wedding in 1964. She is the third from the left in a white dress. I found others from 1974, 1984, 2004, and the very last one several weeks before her death at age 92.

Engagement Luncheon
                                                    Engagement Luncheon 1964
Mom with two granddaughters
                                                  Mom with two granddaughters

I felt comfortable with Mom from the first time I met her. She and my mother were similar, in that both were dedicated Christians, were reserved dealing with others, had incredible patience, and loved the color blue. Both were very active in church activities, had their hair done once a week, and had a tendency to burn food in the oven or toaster. Sorry about that. At my age, you call up one memory and get swamped with a thousand others.

Mom, Dad, grandson John $
                                         Mom, Dad, grandson John $ 1984
Mom in 2004
                                                         Mom in 2004

If I had to choose one outstanding trait about my dear motheriin-law, it would be the beautiful way she aged. We’ve all known crotchety old folks who have nothing good to say about anybody or anything. They were a pain to themselves and everyone around them. Not so Mom. She was pleasant to everyone and continually thanked us for everything we did for her. Her outlook was astounding. John was forever saying, “Old age is a terrible thing”, to which Mom would disagree. He finally asked her what age category she thought she was in. Her reply (remember, age 92) was quick, “Advanced middle age.”

My last picture of Mom with Pastor Bell  2007
                                  My last picture of Mom with Pastor Bell   2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

4 thoughts on “100 Years Old

  1. You brought me to tears. What an amazing woman. I think of her whenever I have homemade chicken and rice soup (a memory from when I stayed with her while I was ill as a school-child) and when I smell cinnamon raison bagels. A favorite of hers. When she was in her 80’s she was asking about taking art classes at the local community college. While she never did, I loved the fact that she considered it. Such a blessing in our lives, that woman was/is (in spirit). I miss her greatly.

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