Today is Footslogger's mom's 91st birthday. She was born on Veteran's Day, which makes it easy to remember her birthday and easy to remember to think about veterans, all on the same day. 91 years old! and still living on her own. She is a fiercely independent, widowed person, who stands all of 4 feet 11 inches. She weighs maybe 95 pounds and is almost completely blind as a result of macular degeneration.
I think if you asked her, she would say that the best thing in her life now is her seeing-eye dog, Marilyn. Marilyn is a standard poodle, white, who was trained by the Pilot Dog program in Columbus, Ohio. When Marilyn doesn't have her harness on, she's a regular dog, bouncy and rambunctious. But once she gets buckled into that harness, she is all business.
When mom goes to church or to the grocery store or to the mall, she takes Marilyn. Marilyn is -- of course -- a superior attention grabber. We've been with mom when stranger after stranger has approached her, exclaiming over how beautiful and well behaved Marilyn is, and mom loves it! What a great experience for her, to be the focus of so much positive attention at the age of 91.
We call mom every Sunday (Footslogger is talking with her on the speakerphone as I write this) and of course, this morning we sang her happy birthday as soon as she answered the phone. This morning, after mass, her buddies gave her a donut with a candle in it to blow out and wished her a happy birthday. We sent her a novel on CD to listen to, and of course she opened it this morning while we were on the phone. She's planning to start listening to it tonight.
So happy birthday, mom! We wish you good health, lots of family around you, and all of the love and attention you can get today.