My husband's mom is turning 90 this year, and although her walking and endurance have slowed down a bit, she mostly runs circles around us.
She lives on her own, is still driving, and keeps herself busy with a variety of activities
for fitness, personal interests, and for the care and support of others (mostly neighbours and relatives and friends who occasionally need company or help).
She loves to chat and easily falls into conversations with strangers. Her demeanour
is quite pleasant, happy, and likeable. She smiles and laughs a lot, and holds a self-deprecating humour.
She used to have an older sister who would often be mean to her, but she never got very upset about it. She just felt sorry for her,
realizing that her sister acted that way because she was so unhappy. She somehow already knew at her young age that her sister was suffering, and that hurt people hurt people.
When she was young, she would occasionally be disciplined by
her father for making some mistake, but she could never understand why. What was the point of spanking her for making a mistake or doing something she did in innocence? How did hitting her have anything to do with whatever happened or any lesson to be learned?
It just didn't make any sense. At her young age, she somehow knew to question rather than to look for blame and hold onto it tightly... She was somehow aware of the innocence of her own behaviours and that of others.
In her marriage, and
in the later years of being the long time caregiver for her husband who has now passed, she managed a LOT of challenges with a great deal of acceptance and patience. She was somehow aware that grasping tightly onto her thoughts and feelings of frustration
didn't make her feel better and didn't help her.
Ultimately, since her youth, she's understood not to take any behaviours or thinking so personally or seriously.
She still gets affected here and there, and some people's
behaviours appear in her thinking more than others (including sometimes her own), and she has opinions, and she would prefer that some others would change in various ways, and as a consequence she sometimes attempts to pass on her wisdom, but she doesn't tend
to keep digging in, and for the most part, she doesn't hang on to much. She says her piece and shortly after that, moves forward to whatever next occupies her attention.
There's also a bit of what I call "the juju" in her... an uncanny
ability to sense things before they happen.
And she has always slept very well. She simply lies down, closes her eyes, and as she has explained to us, "watches the movies going on behind her eyeballs", and falls asleep.
About a year ago, with some sense she was getting closer to the limits of the human body, she made arrangements to start phoning my husband every morning for a quick call to let him know she's still alive. That way, if something's happened, she won't be
left there for days! It's usually not much more than a quick exchange of "I love yous" and arrangements of plans for our weekly meet-up for breakfast out somewhere. It's very cute.
When I first met my husband's Mom, I didn't have a lot
of thought or awareness about her. I knew she was pleasant, and friendly, and she laughed at my jokes, so it was simply easy to be in her company. I didn't as yet see or understand the wisdom with which she navigated life.
But now I'm
much more aware of it, simply because I've realized more of what wisdom truly is, and how it shows up in others.
She has her own personal craziness, just like the rest of us, but I can see now that she holds an underlying "knowing" that
she has retained since she was a little kid... an internal common sense that she keeps falling back into (and listens to) when she gets lost, and from which arises her many moments of better nature.
And it isn't something that she's discovered,
or learned how to do, or practices applying, it's just something she's always KNOWN her whole life. She's always had some sense of which direction to lean back into, no matter what... she knows where happiness is.
And it hasn't given her
riches, or awards, or the typical "successes" of life, or even much recognition by the masses, but it has given her internal peace. She walks through life with a grace that many wouldn't necessarily recognize, unless perhaps they've somehow recognized it within
themselves as well.
The force is strong with this one.
The photo here is on one of our recent weekly breakfasts with my husband's Mom, my husband, and me. My husband especially likes this photo because it's a reminder
(for me) of what a gift he is to me. 😂 LOL!