I remember very vividly the day that I turned 25. My family had gathered in the back yard of our little Denver house. We were sitting under the apple tree and July was all around--bees buzzing, birds singing in the tall poplar trees that lined each side of our yard. The air smelled like summer and that scene comes back to me now in all my senses. I had a husky 4 year old boy, and a beautiful new baby girl. I had the world by the tail. I remember remarking to my dad and mom sitting there, "Well, in 75 more years I'll be 100!" This cracked my dad up ! I always loved to see him laugh. It was contagious!
The concept of 75 years seemed to stretch out beyond infinity in my mind at the time--I could not seriously comprehend it. Well, Dad, I am getting there.
And it's not funny anymore.
A lot of Julys have come and gone since that summer day.
July 2012 rolled around and things began to happen! There was a parade of festivities and follies. I opened my home to friends and family. They came singly and in groups to pay homage and to see what 90 looks like. Children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren appeared on my doorstep, a gallery of beloved faces to keep in my album of memories.
A weekend at Lake Tahoe was planned, and relatives from Colorado and California mingled joyously. (In the privacy of my room I prayed that I would have the stamina to hold up through it all.) It was exhausting, but joy and excitement stimulated me and buoyed me up.
My sister had had a serious fall and could not attend the long anticipated Tahoe Bash. We were so disappointed! When she recovered enough to fly to Colorado with her daughter, they asked me to join them there. We planned to meet at the Woodland Inn Bed & Breakfast.
My sister's health is fragile, and with me at 90, one never knows, so this was important to both of us.
It was a special time for my sister and me. We sat in the sunshine by the big bay window and remembered. We talked together of the long ago days of our years. Annie forgets what she did 5 minutes ago, but her mind is clear about those old times. We laughed to recall our sessions over the dishpan when we were girls, and we sung again those old songs~~and she remembered all the words, her lovely voice still ringing out on the high notes. It was a sweet, tender time that I will always treasure.
I have another sister, Ilona~not a blood sister~but we were little girls together. We played house, sung together and were in the same school. She grew up and married my brother so I have always thought of her and loved her as my sister.
She has had serious health issues these last years, a few close calls, and I really really wanted to see her again while I was in Colorado. She has a failing voice box, so our communications of late have been severely limited. The stars aligned themselves for us somehow, and I was able to drop by and visit her for a few minutes.
Our visit consisted of holding each other long and close, with deep looks through brimming eyes. The most precious and eloquent love passed between us. In those few moments everything that needed to be said, was said. I felt at peace, and comforted. and it remains, warm in my heart, still.
And so, this has been my 90th summer. What a glad, happy exhausting time it has been! Thanks to all who shared my special time-I shall not soon forget!
I hold you all within my heart, the images lying just below the surface of my days....not knowing what life has in store, but taking each day as it comes; at peace, being thankful, being grateful beyond measure.
Betty Owen Journals, 2012