In Others’ Words: Ninety-three
“May you live all the days of your life.” ~Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish satirist
My mother-in-law celebrates her 93rd birthday today.
That’s her in the photo, getting ready to blow out the candles of her cake. And yes, she got ’em all blown out in one try!
As she reminisced last night, she recounted how she was born several days before the end of World War I — and has then lived through World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and, of course, our present conflict.
Her father was one of the last homesteaders in Montana. She was born in a one-room log cabin that he built by hand. She rode a horse to school, which was held in a one-room school house.
She married at 18. Her one and only child (my husband) was born 21 years later, when she was almost 40 years old. She was widowed 5 years later.
She rose from the position of a secretary for the National Farmers Union to become a lobbyist on Capitol Hill.
As she sat in my dining room surrounded by her family — son, daughter-in-law, grandkids and spouses — she reminisced. Her body’s slowing down. Fragile. Macular degeneration has almost completely stolen her eyesight. But her mind is remarkably agile.
She offered thanks for the gifts given. But she often says the best gift is time spent with family. Time to talk. Time to be together.
There are a lot of lessons I could take away from my mother-in-law’s ninety-three years, but I’ve decided on the one that’s most important. Tangible gifts — a book, a blouse, some thing — are nice. Sometimes they are just what you asked for.
But time spent with people you love. That’s irreplaceable. That’s the stuff of memories.
A lifetime of them.
In Your Words: Treasured memories. We often think about them on birthdays. If today was your birthday, what memory would you celebrate? Would you celebrate a some-thing or a some-one?0 I like this!