Today is my mom’s birthday and I didn’t go for a ride, so this will be a rare non-cycling post.
90 seems old, but not as old as it probably sounded when my mother was young. Nobody lived that long back then, which probably had something to do with it. These days, although it’s still older than average, it’s not uncommon. There are even cyclists (sorry, couldn’t stop myself) who still get out there and hammer it at that age. Still, that’s a lot of life. My dear old mum was born during the depression, well before television appeared. They didn’t even have a radio when she was young.
Ruth grew up during the war, but wasn’t affected by it much. There were a couple of guns in Gaspé and soldiers were stationed there, but there was no action. The biggest trouble for a young girl at that time was the sugar ration.
My dad died in 1976 and at nearly 50, my mother went back to school to become a nurse, moving from the only town our family had known for over 200 years to the big city of Toronto. She graduated in 1980 and made sure the rent was paid for her last of 5 kids at home – me.
Mom remarried and travelled the world for years, probably something she never imagined doing in her wildest dreams, growing up in the supreme boonies of Quebec. She even came to Japan when I was living there and became a geisha.
She’s now outlived 2 husbands and still lives on her own. She’s given up her car, but keeps her license for trips back to Quebec. She bakes her bread, knits her stockings and touques and talks to her many friends and family and has received over 150 birthday cards (so far) for her big day.
I’m not a very emotional guy (just ask my wife), but I’m a little sad that I can’t be back home to help Ruth Elaine Miller Patterson Armstrong celebrate. Thank goodness for technology – it’s a lot easier to talk to someone halfway around the world now than it was in 1931!