42 Comments

  1. Sue Broderick

    As always, Laurie, very enjoyable read. So excited for you and your Mom to be heading to Ireland together. Look forward to hearing about your trip. I hope you can keep up with her; she looks lovely.

    May she have many more healthy, happy years!

    Sue

    • Laurie Stone

      Thank you so much, Sue. I can’t wait to go with her. She’s always wanted to see the home of her ancestors. It should be a very emotional trip. Thanks so much for reading.

  2. Lea Sylvestro

    Hi Laurie,

    I’m proud of your mother too. What a great outlook…and as you say, that’s not the way she always has been, so to branch out and overcome fears is that much more admirable. She looks wonderful and your message is as well. I’m so sorry to hear about your father’s passing. It is hard to think of that void for your mom (and you) after 60 years of companionship and love. So hard. Makes my heart ache as I think ahead….XXOO

    • Laurie Stone

      Lea, Yes, my Mom has been through a lot, but she’s slowly forging a new life for herself. Thanks so much for reading.

  3. OMG, this is so beautiful. First, I’m very sorry about the passing of your father. I’m sure that was quite difficult for your mom and you.

    Second I love how you write so lovingly about your mother, life and how women can be whoever they choose to be at any stage in life. This post is so inspiring! I’m so glad to read it today. Good for you for writing it. Enjoy Ireland! It’s definitely on my bucket list.

    • Laurie Stone

      Thanks so much, Cathy. I think too many people give up on life too early. I’m glad my Mom isn’t one of them.

  4. I love it! What a wonderful perspective your mother has. It really is all about the person – not the age. I know people who are in their early 60s and sedentary and isolated (by choice); and then I have my grandmother in her 80s who is still grabbing life by the horns. The latter inspires me, reminding me that every day really is a new opportunity.

  5. “Nana didn’t know in her 80’s she’s not supposed to date, tell off-color jokes and go to rowdy cocktail parties.”

    Says who??? Good for your Nana, and good for your Mom, for forging their own paths!

    I’m sorry for your (and her) loss of your dad, but it’s oh-so gratifying to have role models like these when we ourselves are facing the realization that there are more years behind us than ahead.

    • Laurie Stone

      Roxanne, I’m amazed that learning never stops, not even when we reach ages where we always assume we’re “done.” Thanks for reading.

  6. Hey Laurie,

    This is awesome! I know so many that fear the aging process because, well, we know where it leads. However, we can’t let that fear rule us. I look at aging as an excuse to reinvent myself over and over again. Each decade should change in little way to better myself. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. 😉 Hope you and your mother enjoy your trip!

  7. In her 80’s my mom and her friends used to go to biker bars to play cards for money. They not only won money but would bring chicken soup for ailing bikers, baked goodies to eat while playing cards and a far dirtier sense of humor than any biker expected from an 80-year-old grannie.

    • Laurie Stone

      Rica, I’m amazed at my mother and how she seems to gather power with age. I know she’s one of the lucky ones, but its still so inspiring.

  8. Hey Laurie! Lovely, well-written essay about you and your MOM.

    My parents just took a Viking Cruise through Germany last month and my dad is pushing 90! So glad they are both still alive and kicking, but I also love your line:
    “And now for the first time, my mother’s on the front lines of her life. She’s calling the shots. She’s navigating alone.”
    Like the millennials, I took the “freedom to explore who I was – career-wise, relationships and sexuality – without the pressure of early marriage and motherhood…” in my 20s, 30s and 40s and only married in my 50s. But that doesn’t mean Mike and I don’t take major risks and change everything now and then. At 60 we just totally changed lifestyles, and I’m so glad we did!

    • Laurie Stone

      Laura, I’m beginning to see how it doesn’t matter what age we’re at. As long as we’re able, learning and growing can always take place. My Mom’s journey has been an eye-opener.

  9. This is so lovely! I was just talking to a friend last night about how her mom is turning 80 and all the implications that brings. She was feeling sad and scared. This will give her such hope that her mom still has a full life to live! Perfect timing! 🙂

  10. I worked for years as a grief counselor and facilitated a spouse loss support group. I was privileged to work with many women like your mother who started second or third chapters after their husband’s died. This post made me smile in imagining your Mom and remembering my past clients.

    • Laurie Stone

      Thanks so much, Sheryl. I’m amazed to see women in their 80’s not only begin again, but live full, vital, exploratory lives. Thank you for reading.

  11. It is inspiring to hear how your mother continues to grow. My mother-in-law is also in her 80s and is quite a firecracker. Life is what you make of it — at any age.

    • Laurie Stone

      Shari, I’m beginning to see that life is what you make it. As long as health is there, you’re only limited by imagination and spunk. Its been very eye-opening and inspiring to watch my mother in her later years.

  12. My great-grandma always wanted to go to Ellis Island to see where her parents signed in as immigrants from Poland – so she did so at the beautiful age of 92!! My aunt kept trying to get her to sit down in a wheelchair as they strolled around, but instead my GG used it to cart around all the souvenirs she bought. Definitely agree – you’re only as young as you feel!

    • Laurie Stone

      Amber, Your grandma sounds like a cool lady. Happy she finally got to fulfill a dream. And yes, you’re as young as you feel!

  13. Thanks for the inspiration! I’m in my early 60s, about the age my mother was when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Her life began a slow decline at that point. My dad died of a heart attack at 65. So I sometimes feel my days are numbered. Your post reminds me that the future holds so much more for me. Thanks for sharing.

    • Laurie Stone

      Camille, Glad this resonated with you. I’m sorry your parents had later life challenges. My poor Dad didn’t have a healthy old age either, but thankfully, my Mom is going strong. I guess health is everything, plus a good attitude. Thanks for reading.

  14. As Women we are living in uncharted territory. You identified it well. No one to guide us or tell us “No” and with health on our sides, we are among the first in all of history to do what we are doing…. really living past menopause.

    • Laurie Stone

      Beth, So true. This generation of women — both young and old — are living lives our great grandmothers could’ve only imagined. Such longer lives and so much freedom, compared to them. You’re right. This is uncharted territory.

  15. Laurie, I think this post is a wonderful tribute, not just to your mother but all of us. We are not the same as our grandmothers…happy to sit and knit. We are strong women and we aren’t complacent. We want more and we take the bull by the horns and we go for it! I always thought 70 was old…as I turn 67 this weekend I don’t think that anymore. We are only as old as we let ourselves be. I hope you and your mother have a wonderful trip making memories together. I wish I could do that with mine.

    • Laurie Stone

      Renee, Happy upcoming birthday! Yes, I thought I’d be wretched at 60, but still feel young. I’m not sure when that “feeling old thing” kicks in, if ever. BTW, my Mom and I had a wonderful time in Ireland. Thanks for reading!

  16. Erik Wrikson

    Laurie, This is so true. My Mom died many years ago and my Dad remarried in his mid 70’s to an “older woman”. He lived those later years tonthe fullest and she was a big part of thst. My Dad passed away 8 years ago and now my step mom is 96, still lives alone in the house, drives, and keeps a social calendar I could not keep up with. She goes to the opera, theater, out to lunch, out to dinner, and visits with friends. She even flies by herself. Well, on an airplane of course. Lately we do see those signs of slowing down. It was inevitable, but I realized after seeing my dad and step mom in their later years, there is much to look forward to.

    Erik

    • Laurie Stone

      Erik, Isn’t it the truth? Old age is so different than how we expected. Your step-Mom sounds like an amazing woman. Yes, there are people who slow down, but many live full (sometimes fuller) lives than ever. Thank you for reading.

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