My mother will turn 96 next month. Although her body shows many signs of aging, her mind is sharp and youthful and her spirit is quite amazing. I especially appreciate her curiosity, independent nature and sense of adventure. She grew up in a time when women were not expected or supported to achieve higher levels of education or professional accomplishments. Her expectations, once she married and had a family, were primarily focused on contributing to her children and family. Mom held many community leadership roles and was always the go-to person whenever anyone had a problem. She always knew exactly what to say or what to do to save the day. In spite of her current physical limitations, mom is always ready to get on a plane to travel to a relative or grandchild’s wedding, graduation or other life-cycle event. She is a fully engaged participant in every area of her life and always has been.
My mother is my exemplar for full engagement and life-long learning; she is always asking big questions to further her knowledge and understanding of the world around her. I greatly enjoy our conversations around relationships and the meaning of life and appreciate that I inherited her love of learning, sense of adventure and optimistic nature. Thanks Mom!