I know an old lady who has a life.

If my Dad were still alive, he’d be celebrating his 84th birthday on Sunday. He died nearly 20 years ago.

My Dad was born on May 13th. Sometimes his birthday fell on the dreaded Friday the 13th, and sometimes his birthday fell on Sundays, which were always Mother’s Day.

As my Dad’s birthday approaches, I cannot help but think of my Mom. And this year, as Mother’s Day approaches, I cannot help but think of my Dad.

Thankfully, I can spend Mother’s Day with my Mom, because she is still alive. That is I could spend the day with her but I won’t because – well, I’ll get to that in a minute.

My Mum and Dad at Amherst Shore.
This picture was taken 6 months before my Dad died.

As awful as this may sound, I am grateful my Dad died before my Mom. I am grateful it was not my Mom who left my Dad behind.

My Dad would be a mess without my Mom. He was always a mess when she traveled to Nova Scotia for the summer. His spirits wouldn’t lift until he was up at the Shore with her and/or when she returned home.

As a kid, I left for the Shore when my Mom left for the Shore, but when I was older I had to stay home and work. I didn’t like staying home, while my Mom was gone. My Dad missed her greatly, and he spent the summer sulking. I spent the time anxiously waiting for the day he flew up to be with my Mom the last two weeks of the summer.

I do not mean to give the impression that the love between my Mom and Dad was so immense that the two could not be separated, I simply mean my Mom was my Dad’s rock. Regardless of the trials of marriage, my Dad needed my Mom.


Typically, my siblings and I spend some part of Mother’s Day weekend with our mom (Mum). For the past several years, we’ve spent time at Mum’s house doing yard work, painting, small repairs, etc. One year, my siblings and I painted two small bedrooms. Another year, I mutilated the hedge trimmer cord with the hedge trimmer. I mean, I helped trim her hedges.

Once the work was completed, we would order pizza and eat ice cream. (I come by my ice cream addiction honestly – genetically, in fact.)

April 30th of this year, Mum sent an unsolicited email out to her kids: “Just in case you were planning to be the usual busy bees on Mother’s day, there are ballgames that weekend, and mother won’t be home and can’t think of any jobs she needs done, anyway.”

Recently, I called Mum on the phone around 9:30 in the morning to let her know about two events taking place at the boys’ school. When she answered the phone, I asked her what she was doing. She told me she was getting ready to head to Women’s Fellowship (or Plymouth Circle).

I asked her when she had to be at the church, and she told me 10am. I told her I had better hurry up then, eh? She agreed.

I mentioned the event that was taking place on a Monday, and she said, “Oh, I am playing Bridge that day.” Then I mentioned the event that was taking place on a Friday, and she said, “Just email me all the information for both days. Please be sure to include directions to the school, too. I’ll pull out my maps, see how to get there, and I’ll let you know what I decide.”

Mum impresses me greatly in so many ways. First, I appreciate the fact that she is active and prefers to have information sent via email, so she can get to it when she has time. Second, I envy my Mum’s map/direction skills. This ‘old lady’ really knows her way around a map – she doesn’t need no stinkin’ GPS. Frankly, she finds her way around way better than her daughter (the one who is sitting here fumbling through her early 40s). And third, her nickname is priceless and says so much: Lead-foot Len. (She’s not your typical old lady driver.)

I mentioned my Dad would be celebrating his 84th birthday if he were still alive. Let me also mention, Mum is celebrating her 80th birthday this year. This lady is celebrating her 80th birthday this year, and she does more in a week than I do in a year two years.

I love spending time with Mum and my siblings. I am sorry our typical Mother’s Day weekend is atypical this year. But, I am immensely grateful that Mum will enjoy her day at the ballpark, watching the Gwinnett Braves play against the Toledo Mud Hens. More importantly, I am immensely grateful that Mum is actively living her life and living actively. You rock, Mum!

Go G-Braves! Go Mum!

Happy Mother’s Day!


P.S. Happy birthday, Dad. I miss you.

27 thoughts on “I know an old lady who has a life.

  1. I so loved this; love that you recalled your trips to the shore, the love between your parents, and how feisty and fantastic your “Mum” is to this day. Happy Mother’s Day to you both, and happy Birthday to your Dad in heaven.

    1. Thanks, MJ. My Mum is feisty, as are all of her children. Yet another thing we inherited honestly. 🙂 I hope you are having a wonderful weekend, and I wish you and your Mom a Happy Mother’s Day.

  2. Two important dates on one day…Mother’s Day and your dad’s birthday!That probably happened a few times over the years. It’s wonderful that your mom is so independent. What a team the two of them were to have raised 6 of you…well not 6 of you LD, but 6 kids. Your whole family almost makes a baseball team. Your mom is probably quite thrilled to be an active spectator now.

    1. I think she is more than thrilled at her spectator status. I am so grateful my mom has her health and her independence. Many cannot say the same. Happy Mother’s Day, Georgette!

    1. What a coincidence, Kim. I mean, the fact that you can relate but with the opposite holiday. I can imagine – literally – the whole week of hurt. Hugs to you, and happy Mom’s day to you and your Mom.

  3. Happy Mother’s Day to Lead Foot Len! (and you!) Amazing mothers help to raise amazing kids and you are proof of that. Happy birthday wishes to your dad. I know when my dad’s birthday or Father’s Day comes along it’s bittersweet but I try to concentrate on how blessed I was to have him as a dad.

    1. Ack. Me? Amazing? Um. Not sure ’bout that, but I’ll smile and nod politely. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend, Darla. You and I certainly blessed with our awesome parents.

  4. I loved this. Funny, we have some similarities. My dad just turned 85 and my mother will be 80 this July. I joke with my mother, “You better not go anywhere first — because Dad would come apart.” And really it is no joke. I don’t know what I could do for him 7 hours away. I am born on the 13th too. My mother always told me it was a lucky number in France. Won’t be with my mother on MDay either. But hopefully they are coming up for my oldest graduation later this month. Thanks for this post. It reminds me that those moments left with my parents are fleeting. Here’s wishing you a great Mother’s Day.

    1. Wow – amazing similarities, Jamie. Congratulations on your oldest graduating. I hope you enjoy the celebrating, while also visiting with your parents. Happy Mother’s Day, Jamie.

  5. I loved this post! She is definitely an inspiration! I’m sorry your dad isn’t here to celebrate his birthday or Mother’s Day, but this was a lovely tribute to them both. “Lead-foot Len.” So great!

  6. Your Mum sounds like a cool, “old” lady – 80 years young, I say!
    It sounds like she has quite a zest for life and good for her.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you both!

    1. I’m repeating myself, but it’s true – I’m grateful she still has zest and the good health to enjoy the zest. Thanks for visiting, Jackie. Happy Mom’s day to you and your Mom. Yes, you are a Mom – just ask Reggie.

      1. Thanks, Lenore. That’s nice of you to say.
        I was hoping Reggie would make me breakfast in bed this morning, but no dice. 🙂

        Happy Mother’s Day!

  7. I think this is my all time favorite of all your posts, Lenore. You put so much love, so much of yourself and where you came from and how you came to be your wonderful you into it. Your mom is not only beautiful but, damn, she’s a fun lady.

    The dynamic between your mum and your dad is not at all unique. I have seen the same scenario many times over. Hate to generalize here, but I do think that men are very dependent upon women. That is not how they fancy themselves, but it is usually true. The woman provides the backbone of the family structure.

    That said, your dad was a good looking guy. He looks so healthy there. I guess that means that his demise was not long and drawn out. That is a good thing.

    Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with us. Have a great Mother’s Day, too.

    1. Thank you, Linda. I appreciate your kindness.
      My Mom and my Dad made this an easy post to write. Truly. And, while generalizing may not always be fair, I am glad you understood from where I was coming. It feels odd to write it out, but there is truth to it.

      And yes, my Dad was handsome. Really. And yes again, he did die suddenly. You may notice the pack of cigarettes in his shirt pocket. Well, he was a long-time smoker. He was diagnosed with Lung Cancer in late January, and he died within two weeks. Apparently he had a tumor around his heart. The doctor said the tumor had probably been there for two years – undiagnosed (as was the cancer). But, as you said, the demise was quick. I was not there when he died, and I hate that fact, but I am glad it was quick. Cancer is ugly – especially towards the end, after a long battle of chemo and radiation.

      Happy Mother’s Day to you, Linda.

    1. Me, too, M2M. I admit – I’m no where near as active as she is – or was – at my age. I had better get moving, eh?
      My thoughts are with you, M2M. Hugs to you.

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