Friday, August 29, 2008

99 on August 29

This is my mother, Evlin, who would have turned 99 today.

She's with my brother, Denny, who was visiting her when this photo was taken at his favourite Irish bar in Naples, FL. She is 98 here, and that pint has her name on it (though I doubt she finished it)
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I hope this inspires anyone who wonders what's possible in advanced old age. She got into that bar under her own steam (with a walker) and very much wanted to be there, in the centre of things.
My brother called to recite their various outings and the list tired me.

She loved fashion, especially formal evening wear: I remember her emerald velvet evening coat, lace cocktail dress, lush fox stole, stacked hatboxes.

In her last weeks, she occasionally became confused. She asked one of her caregivers to help her change into her best dress, and put on her pearls. They did so, then asked why. "My husband is waiting downstairs for me", she said. "We're going out!"

My Dad had been gone 15 years by then, but stepping out on his arm was still her idea of heaven.

7 comments:

materfamilias said...

She looks lovely -- you must miss her!

La Belette Rouge said...

Really sweet tribute. I love that she wanted to dress to meet your father. Very sweet.

My mother is on her 80's and she is a goer and a doer and still dresses. Just last week she went in for Bobby Brown makeup lesson. She is an inspiration.

We are lucky to have such inspirations.

WendyB said...

It's funny that the confusion brought on by old age often leads to beautiful moments like that.

Anjela said...

I cried when I read this. How lovely is this story and the pictures it evokes- I can see how graceful she looks- and so very elegant.

By the way handsome brother! It has to be the genes!

cybill said...

My grandmother did the same in the last few years of her life. She went back (in her mind) to when she was happiest, when her son was little and her husband alive. I thought that was just wonderful. Happy Birthday to your mum, her wonderful spirit is an inspiration to us all.

Deja Pseu said...

In that picture, she has the look of someone quite engaged in and enjoying life. I enjoyed reading this tribute, and what an inspiration she must have been to you!

~TessaScoffs said...

My darling Nana lived to 99 1/2. Although she was practically bedridden and housebound for the last decade or so, she was always very particular about what she wore. One of her last major outings was to my wedding in 96. She hated having to go in a wheelchair but she wore a fur hat and collar with a burgundy trouser suit (it was late November). She truly looked elegant.