It couldn't have been easy ... being a woman without children of her own, raised as an only child, marrying a man with four children and eight grandchildren. Instant large family. Just add wine for a nice soft focus. Today is my step-mom's (T) 65th birthday. I don't think she would mind me saying that - considering the good face she puts on the age.
She is energetic and active - she has to be to keep up with my dad. I can remember the moment I knew T was a good match for my father -- they were landscaping the yard in their new home, removing all the grass and T was rolling back sod as quickly as Dad could break it up. She worked tirelessly - and cheerfully - by his side instead of running screaming with tools in hand. She was game for anything ... she learned to play golf, took an interest in growing vegetables and fruit - and preserving them, and learned to be a central part of a very large clan. She learned to listen patiently to the same stories, recounted over and over again.
After my mother passed, my father was lost - aimless and generally disinterested. He retreated to his Arctic job and I wondered if we would ever get him back. But good fortune smiled on him and he was granted a second chance for having someone to share his life with. When T came into his life, she resuscitated him ... resparked his interest in life again. She gave him a reason to come home.
T was a gift for my dad and our family. In the last ten years we have grown to love her and what she means to the clan. But most importantly, we love her for the partner she is to my dad, and how she loves him without condition.
So warm wishes T - today, on your milestone birthday. May you have many more celebrations and much wine with us in the decades to come ...