Mother was always on the go. She lived at home by herself and did her own cooking and cleaning. Once a week I would pick her up then collect my two sisters who lived nearby. None of them drove. Thursday was our day to shop, pay bills and go out for lunch.
Mother spent four days a week at the church hall making sandwiches for the homeless, working on a quilt, knitting prayer shawls, cooking funeral lunches and whatever else needed doing.
On the seventh day, Mother was in the front row for mass and served coffee for the meet and greet after the service. Sunday afternoon was reserved for family visits. My sisters, brothers and I dropped by with our spouses and kids. Weather permitting, the kids could be found outside climbing trees, playing hopscotch or a rousing game of statue.
The adults sat around Mother discussing family matters and solving the world’s problems. Once the grandchildren went off to college, I would pick my Mother up after Sunday mass and take her to breakfast.
Recently I noticed Mother slowing down. She started moving a little slower and walking with a cane on our shopping trips. Her eyesight, hearing and memory never failed. Now and then she would skip a day working at the church proclaiming,
“It’s about time some of the younger women get involved. I’m one of the oldest to show up.”
As designated driver, I took Mother to her annual physical. On the short walk from the car to the office door she said in a shallow voice,
“I feel like I’m one hundred.”
I laughed and said, “You are ninety-nine you know.”
The part about feeling 100 came from a friend’s story about her mother. The rest is a compilation of memories of my Grandma, my Mother and various Aunts.