80th Birthday Parties

In June my wife and I attended three birthday parties celebrating turning 80 years young.  None of them were for us, though having a birthday party at age 80 is a very worthy goal.  Not reaching 80 means there has been a significant and very negative change in one's health.

One celebration was for my sister Roselle who actually turned 80 in January, but because she lives in MN, she postponed the celebration until June.  This was an excellent idea, as I was in MN in January during her birthday and it was below zero.  Roselle is one of the best people I know, have known or will ever know.  She is a retired nurse and as most know, nurses are the caregivers of our health care system.  Being a caregiver was not just her career, it was her life.  As a mother, daughter, spouse, grandmother, sibling, and friend, she has always been a caregiver.  It is who she is.  The over 300 family and friends who attended her celebration is confirmation of who she is and how she has lived her life.  

Another celebration was for Kim's very good friend Ellie.  I was invited to her recent celebration, mostly because I noticed Kim was all dressed up one night and I think she could not figure what do with me, so she invited me to come with her.  Another wonderful celebration for an incredible woman.  I had a chance to get to know Ellie better when the three of us were a part of a Montana group that attended a spiritual retreat at Holden Village in Washington in the fall of 2018.  As Kim had told me many times, I found Ellie has amazing depth, thoughtfulness, and passion for others.  She also has a spiritual presence that both surrounds and emanates from her.  

The last celebration was for our friend Mary.  She is a fellow HV resident and we served on our HOA Board together for several years.  Because this was an HOA with many challenges, as a Board, we dealt with a variety of difficult issues.  Mary is and always will be one of my favorite people in the world.  She is kind, gracious, insightful and strong all at the same time.  In the past year, one moment she helping her husband who had serious health issues, another moment she is at a Board Meeting being thoughtful, and a moment later she is skiing down the mountain.  At her celebration, Kim and I met a family who had been long-time friends of Mary's and her family.  This family had traveled from Delaware with young children to attend the celebration.  That pretty much sums up the quality she brings to life.  

I would suggest these three incredible women have something in common.  In different ways, I suspect they all had to deal with and surmount the challenges of being a woman in a society that has continually made the path for women much more difficult.  The generations that follow them still have to deal with sexism, but these three and millions of other women in their age group have certainly made their paths somewhat easier.  On behalf of all my granddaughters, a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all three of you and continue to enjoy each moment of life as you provide joy to all of your families and friends.