Young at Heart; A Celebration of a Life Well-Lived

It was a sunny, brisk autumn day yesterday.  Limited resources due to complications created by last week’s storm did not prevent us from celebrating the 92nd birthday of a woman who is like a second mother to me.  Having the opportunity to visit with Mrs. M., as she sat proudly in her living room, all dressed up and genuinely proud to be honored on such an occasion, was a blessing.  The festivities brought back fond memories of my childhood, as it included lots of music, food, laughter and wonderful conversation in a warm, loving environment.

Mrs. M., ever the lady, did not hold back while thanking her guests for helping her celebrate another milestone.  Her articulated vision of us kneeling on the carpet in front of her in admiration had everyone chuckling.   Don’t let her size fool you either.  Petite, soft-spoken and rather fragile, Esty M. can still catch one off guard with her quick wit and humorous wisecracks.

A highlight of the evening was when the guest pianist performed a couple of Mrs. M’s musical compositions on the piano.  A music lover since childhood, Esty delighted in hearing her pieces frolic along the ivories.   One of her favorite arrangements “My Dance for You” was tenderly played as a tribute to her late husband with whom she would have celebrated her 70th anniversary the day before.

One of the lines of my favorite Jim Croce song, “Time in a Bottle” reminds me that “there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them.”  Last night gave me the incentive to renew my interest in playing the piano.  It also encouraged me to discover some classic literary works I’ve thought about but never read, in particular Anna Karenina, The Sun Also Rises, Sister Carrie or A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

As I listened to Mrs. M.’s CD this afternoon, I realized how quickly time passes us by.  If we don’t take advantage of the precious moments we have, they’ll be lost forever.  I hope I’m fortunate enough to celebrate my 92nd birthday with family and friends.  That day seems so far off but may be here sooner than I think.  In the words of Jack Dawson (of Titanic movie fame), “here’s to making each day count.” 

“Any sage will tell you the secret to longevity is to outlive your predictions and see them to fruition. You cannot gloat from the grave.” ~ L. Vincent Majestic