That’s what Natasha exclaimed on Saturday morning.
We were talking about mom.
Monday, August 6th, is Pauline’s birthday.
She will be 99 years old. Ninety Freakin’ Nine.
Although mom’s health might be considered “poor,” the fact that she is still on the planet is amazing to me. My cute, little energizer bunny has outlived her husband, all of her siblings, all of her friends, and most people who were born in the year 1919. She has lived to this day despite vision and hearing loss, four mini strokes and dementia.
Mom’s quality of life has diminished greatly over the past year and a half, but her appetite is still good. It takes her forever to eat (chew, chew, chew, chew), but she still loves her meat and desserts. Mom sleeps more, but when she’s awake…this woman can deliver great one-liners or say words that I didn’t know were in her vocabulary.
Mom is a fighter, for whatever reason, and will continue to be a delight to her caregivers and social worker (and her daughter) until it’s time to “go home” and meet her God.
I’ll be spending the evening meal with 99 year old Pauline, as her residence will be providing cake (and probably balloons) to commemorate another milestone for mom. It’s difficult to buy a birthday present for her, because there isn’t much she needs at this point in time. Mom can’t see or smell flowers and the last time I bought her chocolate truffles, they sat there, half-eaten. This year she’ll be receiving a pair of pajamas and fleece blanket for the big birthday…not exciting, but practical.
Mom, you’ve experienced so much in your life – lived through the terms of 19 Presidents, the Depression, one World war, several other wars, got married, raised two bratty children, moved between three different cities, and grew up in a household of 15. You’ve traveled the country, Canada and Cuba, made the best wiener schnitzel and potato pancakes ever, and set an example for moderately enjoying adult refreshment. Between you and dad, I was taught faith and morals, a solid work ethic and how to not take life too seriously. Even though there have been days and years when we didn’t see eye-to-eye, I love you dearly today and thank you for setting an exquisite example of how to age gracefully with mighty spirit and spunk.