This is Jan, my beautiful mama, and she’s having a birthday today. A significant one… you know the one with all the round numbers. Dad took this photo last year, and I’ve been waiting to share it with you. It’s the perfect photo of her… though it’s missing a glass of wine. And perhaps an ocean in the background. But really, this is all Jan.
Content, curious, compassionate. She continues to model what it is to be a lifelong learner. And service…she has a weekly book table for the homeless outreach program at her church. Jan knits hats for cancer patients, and for all of us (because we see them and we want them, and she whips one up for us on the spot). Jan is on Facebook, and wades her way through the Facebook craziness to keep in touch with her kids and grandkids. And even when we post stuff that would make other grandmas wince, she finds a way to offer support and encouragement. She sends care packages to Kate and Alex, usually with a hat, some chocolate, a check and a few newspaper clippings. If you get to know her, there will certainly be newspaper clippings in your future.
Jan is the ultimate organizer. She plans, she prepares, and she’s ready before you are (and certainly before I am). She open to new experiences and new ideas, and keeps seeking ways to understand our world and each other. She is an enthusiastic citizen of the world, and believes we’re more alike than we are different, and she delights in our differences.
Jan and Bill don’t move as fast or as far as they used to. But they still go to the gym, to book group, to church, to the theater and to concerts, and they still visit their family in other states. They still go, just at a more relaxed pace. They spend more time in their patio than on airplanes, and they do much of their adventuring through reading, though most weeks their social calendar is busier than mine.
She’s my inspiration, and I love having her as a friend. Also, as a wine drinking partner, because you know, when you are of a certain age, every day is a celebration. Happy Birthday Mom!
P.S. Jan’s birthday 2008, The Story of Jan, here.