August 25th was my mother’s birthday. I often think about how her life was so representative of all our lives…none of us really knows what's ahead of us, and we all have aspirations and dreams just as she did as a young woman...(my mom below)
Dreams of starting a family,...(mommy and daddy below)
And she certainly couldn’t have known, on the day this picture was taken, at Ellis Island, that those towers behind her would one day topple, and that that wheelchair she sometimes needed here would become her constant companion late in life. (my mom and dad below)
Life handed her many surprises, as it does all of us, but she accepted them all and responded with dignity as each unfolded before her. She kept walking for as long as she could, sometimes pushing the wheelchair in front of her until she tired and could go no further. (my mom and me in Olde Towne Alexandria, VA)
At my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary, she could still stand and walk with a cane,...(my parents below, at their 40th anniversary)
But around the time of their 50th anniversary, she was no longer really able to walk. She had a wonderful attitude about it, though…I remember her laughing, and telling me when I took her shopping, that she had noticed, in shopping centers, little toddlers in strollers would look over at her on their level, and she said she could tell they couldn’t quite figure out why this adult was in a stroller just like them. She was quite amused by that. I watched the children in other strollers, and sure enough, they did seem somewhat fascinated by her, as if she was a kindred spirit. (our family at that time, below, celebrating my parents' anniversary at the art museum)
She was happiest when she was surrounded by her family, and since we all lived all over the place, like most families, it was hard to get us all together very often...
Mommy's gone now, but not gone from my memories…
Happy 84th Birthday, mommy!
I love you. (my mom and dad on their 50th wedding anniversary below)