My ex mother in law was in town for Thanksgiving week. We had dinner together on the Friday night, a cozy dinner at the Marmalade Café in the Commons in Canoga Park, just me, the two kids, and their grandma. Now the thing that I find truly exceptional about this is the woman will be 100 years old in the spring of 2012. She took an airline trip from NYC, alone, had to wait five hours through a snowstorm delay, and can still laugh about it. Me, I’d be bitching and griping for weeks.
During our dinner we got to talking about how amazing she is and how her health has been incredible. This woman has only been hospitalized once in her life, and that was to give birth to her son. She takes a medication for blood pressure and another for high cholesterol, but that is it. Amazing! I recall how she got totally miffed when she had to have a tooth extraction a few years ago. Up until that point she’d never lost a tooth and still has all of her own. It took some time to convince her that losing one tooth at her age was nothing to fret about. : )
We have stayed friends since her son and I divorced twenty years ago. And I mean real friends. We talk once a week, and on any and every subject. When I visit NYC I stay with her. We’ve taken trips together to Europe, and around the U.S. That tells you a lot about her. It’s natural for a woman to take the side of her only child in the case of a divorce, especially when she has a new daughter in law. For her to be able to maintain our friendship says so much about her heart, her graciousness, and her love of life. I think the key is that she never gossips, she never speaks to me of her son or her daughter in law, and I’m sure that my name doesn’t get spoken to them. When we talk we always have more interesting things to discuss than people, and she has always given me positive reinforcement on my writing.
At dinner the other night, I asked her how she managed not only to look so good, but to maintain her health and her mental acuity. She has always taken pride in how she looks and enjoys clothing fashions. That night she wore a black and white knit top and black skirt, covered by a fabulous new black and white coat with a wide collar and a long coral colored scarf. I adore how she still gets around and enjoys life so much. My greatest desire is to maintain my independence as I get older. I asked for the secret. She said, keep on moving. Always keep moving forward.
Wise words from a wise woman, and today I think over what she said and offer my own interpretation. Keep moving. Keep the mind and body active. Try new things, stay up on the latest technology even if you don’t buy it, admire the new fashions even if you can no longer wear them, learn the current lingo of today’s youth, know your financial situation well and stay within your budget, and always read. Read everything you can, and then think about what you read. Keep on learning. Keep on moving forward.