One hundred years. And one.
And this time it really happened. To my dear mom.
In all likelihood, we would be celebrating her 100th today. For years she thought she had been born in 1915. But when she went to get her passport, mom had to dig up a birth certificate. She was born in Tobasco, Colorado, which is now a ghost town. What a surprise it was to mom when she found out she was one year older than she thought she was. Oh well, it wasn’t like she was cheated out of that year.
“It seems like I just turned 100. Where did that last year go?” Where do they all go, mom? We’re in the boat with you, even the young ones. Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin', into the future.
But I was a little stinker and sometimes I’d push the boundaries of esthetic pursuit. My dad, my sisters, my grandparents, they all put up with my incessant shooting. Thanks to them, I learned how to take people pictures, although I couldn’t imagine any family member showcasing my work on their walls. That’s Ok, as I fall into the street-photography genre more readily than the family-portraiture one.
But it’s been a fun ride, from the time I’ve been on the scene. If you imagine what people like my mom have seen in their 101 years on planet Earth, it has been monumental, historic, even epic. And to be able to remember and clearly elucidate some of those things she’s seen in times past, that’s even more fantastic. Two world wars, an influenza epidemic she barely skipped by. An economic depression the likes of which we have only recently touched upon, but not to the extent of the Great Depression. The birth of the Nuclear age, with the “Bomb.” When we were living in the desert, there were times when they were testing A and H bombs to the east of us. I remember a time or two, hearing when they were testing the bigger ones. I even remember a time when we had to stay inside as the wind was blowing from the east after a big event and radiation was feared to be drifting over the populated areas of the desert.
Fashion, cars, jets, technology, space travel, computers. Mom has an IPad and an IPhone (6+). She does texts, email and Facebook. She has a land line too, just in case. But she’s seen it all. Three kids, eight grandchildren and a load of great grandchildren as well, in her nuclear and extended families.
Well, mom, I hope you have fun this weekend with the grandchildren and great grandchildren. I know you’d like to have us all there, and one big party. But your life is a movable feast, and so why not celebrate as many times as you can? After all, it’s not every day you turn 101!
Love you, mom. I guess we have to come up with a new toast. How about “Cent’anni!” followed by “e due!”
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