I've always loved my Mom. She was a realtor for 20 or so years, and is awesome. Hard working, willing to do anything, and people love her. What's there not to love?. But in 1997, I learned that I really LIKED her, too.
It started with a phone call. "Sal... I just signed up for a trip to the Mediterranean. 10 days. I'm going to Greece, Egypt, Israel and Turkey. Wanna come?"
I thought of when I spent 9 months in Europe at 21 and lived in Greece for 4 months. I'd die to go back. I thought of my husband and 2 young kids. I thought of the expense. I thought "are you kidding... that's out of your world, baby". Then I remembered what our office admin had told me... "You never regret the times you say yes".
My mouth stayed still, but my tongue started lifting towards my teeth.... "yyessssss" it hissed... much to my amazement.
My Mom was 74. We flew to Athens a few days early. Hike all over the joint?... Mom's in. Eat souvlaki off the streets... "Delicious". Wait patiently while I buy silver earrings .. no complaints. We're on the boat... no demands. She's happy doing whatever, while I lay in the sun. Read, bridge, gamble... she doesn't care. She claps while I enter the dance contest. She's totally self entertaining. We get to Cairo.... Ride a camel?... "Hell yeah, you only live once". Explore the burial chamber of the Great Pyramid?... "I'll wait here... you go. Take your time." Any side trip I want to do... she's all in. At the end of our trip, she stays for a 14 day side trip to Turkey... she's seventy-friggin-four!
And all the while we laugh. Mutual chuckles. Stupid school girl giggles. Belly laughs. Spit-your-food-out-on-your-plate laugh. "You think I'm thtupid, you otta thee my shister...sthe walkth like thith ..." Busts us up every time. My Mom never gets down. She's so happy to be travelling, she'll take anything and everything. It's all good.
When we travel my Mom turns into the funnest pal you could imagine. And smart. She reads all the time... historical novels, biographies, anything written well. She ends up being the smartest, most well rounded person in any travel group we've been on, adding fact and lore to any discussion. I'm so proud of her... proud to have been birthed by her.
And attitude? She wrote the book. We were in Switzerland once, at Lake Lucerne. Walking around, she suddenly gives me a stunned look, reaches up to her mouth and pulls out half a crown. "Oops... fell out." Same day, we're getting off a boat, and BAM, she gets a raging sciatica nerve tweek. She can barely walk. But she does. Later that day, she's resting in our room, and notices she has hives all over... big red splotchy itchy welts. What does she do? She laughs at the absurdity of it all. "Come to Switzerland, loose a tooth, break a leg and erupt in a rash.... You go ahead honey, I'll be fine". And she was, with a little pharmacy run, ice and aspirin. Next day, good to go. Nothin gets her down.
She and I have continued to travel... to Europe, Egypt again, Patagonia, Europe again with my daughters, and China with my daughters. And all the while she's positive. Squatty potties in China?.. "Fine". There's only 8 of us on a ship that olds 400? (on the Yangzee)... "Strange, but aren't we lucky, we'll have the staff to ourselves". Taxis on strike in Greece?... "Let's walk". Later, Greek food gives her a "run for the money". She stands at the sink of the National Archeological Museum woman's restroom, her dimply butt on parade for whoever may walk in, and rinses out in the sink (you might want to avoid that bathroom if you ever go there!) We skeedadle outta there pretty fast, collapse onto the sidewalk, and laugh hysterically. What else ya gonna do? She'll still spit her milk out if I mention that day. That was the day ROTFLMAO was invented.
How can you not like an indomitable spirit like hers? Her glass is always half full. She always wants more. She gives us all hope that old age doesn't mean it's over.
If I called her tonight and said, "Mom let's go to Timbuktu", she'd ask what time the plane leaves.
Don't have a Mom like mine? Then BE one.
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