Today, my mom turns 81. She’s not getting older, she’s getting better.
In the four months since we started 78 MPH, hardly a day goes by without me talking to my mom, and that wasn’t particularly how it was before. I’m glad that’s changed. She’s so eager to do things, sometimes it makes me jealous.
And she has plans, plans that would be aggressive for a woman half her age. I guess that’s what happens when she has more than 10 times her age in visitors to her blog!
That shouldn’t surprise me. In the four months that I’ve been helping her with the blog, I’ve phoned and written to friends of hers and people she’s met along the way, and they all remind me of just how extraordinary she is. I’ve heard people say things like, “Oh, your mother wouldn’t stand for that” or “Of course, she just did it!” Looking back, she did so many things when I was a kid that I shouldn’t be surprised that others noticed.
I also know how badly she misses my dad. She tells me stories about when they were young that were so amazing, so much fun. Like how my dad took my mom out flying one Saturday in the wintertime in Saskatchewan. He’d taken a toboggan along, and they landed on a stubble field and went tobogganing down the hills of the Qu’Appelle Valley. When they decided to leave, the plane was stuck: she had to steer while Doc pushed it through the snow. He jumped in at the last minute and they took off. Of course, that was before he had his car accident, but that’s another story, and one she wants to tell. I can’t wait to read it.
This morning, my youngest sister, Bridget, is picking my mom up and the two of them will go for breakfast at the place that everyone in Calgary is raving about, A Ladybug Bakery and Espresso Bar — and then go for a round of golf at Redwood Meadows, just outside of Calgary. This is a real treat for my mom as she hasn’t played the course in probably 10 years, and with a distance of 5,701 from the forward tees, it will be a great challenge to start out her 81st year. I reminded her to “take lots of pictures” to which she said that my sister had shown her how to take sharper pictures a couple of days ago, and she’s excited to be able to do that.
And then she’s going to have dinner with her friend, Ruth. Ruth was out to Vancouver Island recently and came back with a rain jacket from Norwegian brand BLÆST that is just to die for, in red…certainly a brand that would fit their favourite summertime store, Sisters on Huron, in Southampton, Ontario…
Please join with me in wishing Maureen O’Shea a happy birthday.
Love you, mom.