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Sunday, March 16, 2008

The gift of old age

Yesterday afternoon I attended the 90th birthday party of my son-in-law's grandmother, Great-grandma to Jenna and Daniel. The party was held in a church social room and attended by more than fifty family members of all ages. A huge spread of delicious food was carried in by the guests, a great family tradition, the potluck. Several of the guests had been married or confirmed at the church in years past.

Lola, the guest of honor, sat at the head of the tables, which were arranged in a U-shape. She was stunning in her royal blue satin party dress and wore an equally stunning smile throughout the day. Before the cutting of the cake, Lola was assisted in walking from her seat to the other end of the room. She has had several health problems since I last saw her, and I was pleased to notice how strong she appeared in rising to the occasion.

Lola spoke in a strong voice with an obviously clear mind. The essence of her words: The most important thing in life is family. She thanked those who had made the wonderful party, her daughters and sons, and those who came to celebrate with them. She was grateful for her long life and her wonderful family.

I first met Lola (when she was in her late 60s) at our daughter's wedding, where she taught my son to boot-scoot and spent most of the evening on the dance floor. She went out dancing several nights a week for Western line-dancing and enjoyed many other activities, as well. I remember thinking of the words of George Bernard Shaw:
We do not stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. Play on, Lola.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Extraordinary read - you never seem to fail me when my heart needs some more warmth of my youthful days at my grandparents. Between both sets, 26 aunts and uncles, and each are treasures. The extension of those 26 is enormous. My independent party has just nominated you as "Madam President for the Families."

6:40 PM  
Blogger Nita said...

Thanks, Ben. That's one nomination I'm happy to accept.

To my blog visitors: Here's a quote Ben sent me by email:
As a white candle
In a holy place,
So is the beauty
Of an aged face.

--Joseph Campbell {1879-1944} Irish poet

11:08 AM  
Blogger quirkyartist said...

Lola is such a wonderful name. It has such character. Sounds as if it suits her.

5:41 AM  

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