I recently spent the night with my grandmother, Mom. She is now 97, still living at home, and still as spunky as ever. I took her to the doctor for a checkup where he pronounced her to be doing very well. She continues to gain weight, strength, and alertness. She is truly amazing.
After her doctor’s appointment we went out for lunch. That’s our tradition, you see. It has been challenging at times to handle the logistics of getting her into and out of a restaurant with her walker, and then finding table and chairs that are at the right height. Her back is literally shaped like a crooked question mark and she is now very little and very stooped. There have been times where her food has been too high for her to see, but she has not complained. She just enjoys her meal.
On this occasion, everything worked out just fine. We were able to park close to the door of the restaurant and she had no trouble getting in. The table and chairs were exactly the right height and we put a pillow behind her back to cushion her spine from the rungs in the back of the chair. We shared a chicken strip plate and she ate well.
It doesn’t matter where we are, at the doctor’s office, hospital, or restaurant, the same thing happens. You can count on it. Though it is no longer surprising, it is still amazing to watch. People are drawn to my grandmother. Everyone who passes her smiles. Many go out of their way to talk to her. I believe it is her goodness, her love, her joy, that makes her a people magnet. They sense all this and more in her, and they desire to know her even if it is just for a moment.
As her granddaughter, I can’t tell you how it thrills my heart to watch this take place time after time. I have always known these things about Mom, but seeing it confirmed in the smiles of other people is an unmeasurable treasure.
I believe that if her body holds up, she has the zest for life to reach and go beyond the century mark.