Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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Belated (if that’s the right word) Happy Birthday

Yesterday was my mother’s birthday. She passed away three years ago, but if I’ve counted correctly, she would have been 39 years old. I clearly remember that when she turned 39 (the first time), she informed me that she would be staying right there. The odd part is that even though she ceased aging at that point, my own aging process appears to have continued unabated, so that I now find myself in the odd position of being older than my mother.

Most of you reading this are probably at the point in life where you can remember when your parents were the age you are now (I had to re-type that sentence twice, by the way). I want to mention one particular moment. It was something Mom said to me when she was 39 years old for about the tenth time. She was reflecting back on turning 30. She said something like this:

“When I turned 30 I thought, ‘Well, I’m older now; I should start dressing that way,’ and I bought myself a bunch of old lady dresses. But then I realized that I didn’t feel any different. I was still the same person and my age didn’t mean anything.”

I’ve thought of that quote many times since then. I want to point out that I took her words to heart; when I turned 30, I didn’t buy ANY old lady dresses. Among other things, it reminds me that the most powerful lessons we learn as children aren’t lessons; they’re stray quotes and day-to-day examples that speak more eloquently than any of the things our parents were consciously trying to teach us.

Happy Birthday Mom and continued thanks!

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