by Leslie Sann

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
~ Satchel Paige

My mother recently turned 90. No lie. 90. I called her on the day of her birthday and she says to me, “I can’t believe it. I’m 90! How did that happen? How did I get to be 90? I must have had good genes.”

“Mom, you still have them. What are you going to focus on now? You’re still here,” was my reply.

“My goal is to wake up every morning, throw my legs over the side of the bed and stand up. I’m starting small.”

“That’s wisdom, Mom.“

A few days later I called her back. My sister had done a beautiful job celebrating her on the day of her birthday. I wanted to hear all about it. She remembered almost everything from the event.

She then tells me, “90 is 90.”

“What do you mean?”

“90 is 90.

“You mean 90 is not the new 60?”

“Yes, it’s not the new anything.”

(She cracks me up.)

“Mom, you sound really good. You sound happy.”

“I am happy. I’m grateful I can get up in the morning. I can shower and dress myself. And I can still live on my own. I’m very grateful. I am happy.“ (This is a huge win in my opinion. Perhaps even a miracle.)

I could feel her smiling heart which made mine smile. It was a joy to be with her.

We talked about how gratitude was the choice to make. And it is a choice. She could choose to be miserable with everything that comes with being 90. Instead my mother, my mother, was choosing gratitude.

Perhaps turning 90 is the blessing of her lifetime. Those of us who choose gratitude versus complaint live a blessed life.

Her gratitude favors me as well. Who wouldn’t want to experience their loved ones aging, cocooned in the blessing of gratitude? “This life has been a gift for which I am grateful.“

What a way to live! What a way to go!

Blessings and Joy,