Mom, at 98

Today, August 6th, is my mother’s birthday.

She turned a whopping 98.

This photo was taken a few years ago.

I don’t know how she does it.

I call her the Face of Resilience, the Energizer Bunny, The Little Engine that Could. She keeps going and going and going and going.

Then again, she was more interested in sleeping than talking with her daughter on this momentous occasion. I could only wake her with the allure of food and the cheesecake I brought as a birthday treat. In her mind, I imagined her thinking, “I don’t care about a birthday, for God’s sake just let me sleep!”

Mom has a right to sleep for as long as she wants on a Sunday or any other day. Not only does she deserve it, but she must be tired. Ninety-eight years is a long time. I’m more than a few decades younger than her and I want to nap almost every afternoon. I can only imagine how mom must feel some days.

In all of the years that I have been her daughter, there was much wisdom to gain from a woman with 98 years on the planet. Here are a few tidbits.

  • It’s okay to lose your stoicism when a mouse is underfoot.
  • It’s okay to have a daily adult refreshment of your choosing.
  • It’s okay to take the daily adult refreshment with you in a travel bar when you go places.
  • It’s not okay to camp when you can sleep in a much softer bed at the hotel.
  • It’s not okay to wear a mini skirt at age 17 because that was not the style in 1974 (it was, but mom was not a prisoner of fashion when it came to the judgment of her daughter’s style).
  • It’s okay to eat fish on Fridays as long as it’s not lent.
  • It’s okay to eat potato pancakes on Friday during lent.
  • It’s not okay to miss Catholic mass on Sunday.
  • No, not even if you are in the middle of Baptist country.
  • Never forget the German gravy, even when you make Chinese food.
  • No matter that you are married, you need all of my leftover food.
  • It’s okay that you’re no longer married, I didn’t like him anyways.
  • It’s okay to make your child drive across town to buy the day-old rye bread for 20 cents less than at Wal-Mart.
  • It’s okay to thank your child for driving across town for the day-old rye bread.
  • But not too much.
  • Moms are always saints, especially when they have 13 children to raise and love during the Great Depression.
  • When you get to be 90 you can say whatever the h*ll you want.
  • When you get to be 97, you can say chicken sh*t and people will laugh.
  • When you get to be 98, you can sleep at the dinner table.

This is only a sample. There’s more, but now I’m getting sleepy (and it’s only 3:30 in the afternoon).

Like mother, like daughter I guess.



48 responses to Mom, at 98

  1. Claudia says:

    Happy Birthday Mom!! I just went to my grandson’s birthday party yesterday and great grandpa was there — 90 in September! They are so full of information — our world’s true treasures.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Go great grandpa! People who live into their 90’s have great stories to tell and are often funny in their own right. Thanks for wishing mom a happy day!

  2. LB says:

    Happy Birthday to your Mom!
    The list is wonderful, and made me chuckle (“It’s not okay to miss Catholic mass on Sunday.
    No, not even if you are in the middle of Baptist country) and the photos made me smile.
    Now … go take another nap πŸ™‚

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Laurie. No more naps… it’s time to go to bed! It’s true about finding a Catholic church when we were on vacation. Didn’t matter where we were!

  3. Dan Antion says:

    Happy Birthday Mom!!!

    Thanks for sharing her wisdom. I’m going to apply some of that immediately. Well, as soon as I wake up.

      • Dan Antion says:

        Daily adult refreshment, and I’m looking forward to saying “chicken sh*t”. I’m also assuming that she wouldn’t have liked my ex-wife, and I thank her for that.

  4. Herman says:

    A very Happy Birthday to your Mom! Thanks for sharing so much wisdom, Mary.

  5. Joanne Sisco says:

    Wonderful photos, Mary πŸ™‚
    I think that at 98, the rules should be whatever you want them to be … even if they change from day to day!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Mom told the hospice nurse that her birthday was in May. She may have been confusing her birthday and Mother’s Day, but that’s where the daily changes come in. I think, at this point, she should celebrate her birthday every day.

  6. joey says:

    Well that was giggly good πŸ˜€ Quite nice to read on a dreary Monday mornin!
    I’m all about gravy, but how is German gravy with Chinese food? Is that an unexpected yum? Hehe Haha!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      The gravy thing is an “in” joke. One of mom and dad’s favorite dishes was beef chow mein. Not your standard Chinese chow mein, but one that had the tenderest of beef and thickened in a dark soy sauce-tasting gravy. It was delicious, but it was also the German version. Mom and dad loved their gravy. It was one of the things that they complained about in assisted living with the food – either no gravy or not enough of it.

      • joey says:

        Interesting. I wonder if this is like the cigarettes in prison. If you love someone in assisted living, bring them gravy? πŸ™‚

  7. Kathryne says:

    Happy birthday to your mom! She’s a treasure, Mary. I lost mine at age 86. Your pics brought a flood of memories from my stockpile photos of my Depression era parents and late MIL. I salute her and your honor of her. ❀

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Mom does the best she can with her ailments and dementia. Quality of life could be far better, but as long as she is talking and I can get her to smile, all is good.

  8. A very Happy Birthday to Mom. 98 years young, and very much allowed to say Chicken sh*t. In fact … I’ll sit with her and say it with her too – just for a bit of fun! lol

    She’s wonderful Mary. Love her and tell her so as much as you can. The one thing I regret is not telling my mum that I loved her enough. I should have called her morning noon and night, just to say it.

    Beautiful post, and fabulous photos.
    Sending squidges to your Mum and to you too. ~ Cobs. x

    • bikerchick57 says:

      We love squidges, so thank you very much Cobs. I can no longer talk to Mom on the phone due to her hearing, but I tell her I love her every time I see her. She still says it back, so that makes me feel good that she still has that clarity of mind. As for the naughty words, they make me laugh every time she speaks them. It’s always unpredictable and unexpected.

  9. LindaGHill says:

    That’s a lot of wisdom! And a lovely bunch of pictures. Thanks for sharing your mom’s birthday with us, Mary. πŸ™‚

  10. Aunt Beulah says:

    I so enjoyed this post and the photographs that accompanied it. What a grand lady. And how lucky the two of you are to have had each other for so long and to share a healthy sense of humor.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Mom has definitely been lucky and blessed to live such a long life and I’m so glad to have spent part of that time with her.

  11. JoAnna says:

    Lookin good! I had no idea my parents didn’t like my first husband until dad told my second husband. I’m looking forward to saying chicken shit! and having people laugh.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      That’s funny about your ex-husband. It’s also funny to be old and say whatever comes to mind. πŸ˜€

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