By Lisa Batten Kunkleman
“Lisa I just realized I’m old. How did that happen?” Mom says.
I say, “Beats me. You may be up there chronologically but you sure don’t act it. You and Betty White are ‘Da Bomb Diggity’.”
Today is Mom’s birthday. Number eighty-something. Unbelievable. She can’t believe it either. If nobody let on about her age, people would continue thinking she is much younger than her octogenarian status, confirmed only by her birth certificate.
As it is, we use her age to shock folks who are chattering away, to her or in her presence, about So and So who is really elderly, and still driving.
They chat on not knowing they are talking to a contemporary of the “elderly” person they’re mentioning.
“Well, I’m almost eighty-eight,” Mom tosses out with a smile.
The conversation stops while the speaker stares at her in disbelief. “You’re not serious. Mrs. Lois, I never would have guessed it. You look so young.”
“Well, I am. I can’t believe it either,” Mom says.
Often times a person learns Mom’s age and says something like, “Are you still driving?” or “Do you still live in your house?”
Mom just grins, cocks her head sideways and says, “Of course I drive and still live in my house.”
She tells me that people sometimes switch to baby talk when addressing her. At that, she puts on her feisty-lady voice and changes the subject to what she considers a much more interesting topic. That person.
“So tell me what’s happening with you,” Mom says, always interested in others and preferring not to talk about herself. Maybe that’s what keeps her so young, caring about people and things outside herself.
I’ve got a few years to get myself more interested in others than in my own self, but I sure hope to be like her when I grow up. She always has been and still is one heck of a role model.
Happy birthday, Mom. You’re the best!