My mom who died at the age of 61 of terrible cancer was lucky. At least she said she was. She knew she didn’t have much time left and made sure she shoved everything she could into it. She said she was lucky because she got to retire when she was 50 and unlike many people that work until they are dead, she got to enjoy some of what she had worked so hard for. Leave it to my mom to find a bright side to one of the worst things I can think of happening.
One day when I went up to Springfield, MO to visit her we went to the Bass Pro Shop (the original with a museum), she took me to all of her favorite thrift stores and a tour of old Route 66. We had lunch at one of the first Steak N Shake’s on the old highway and she told me the history of the area. She moved to the area, from Chicago, IL, after retiring from AT&T with 31 years of service. She chose it because it was halfway in between me who lives in Texas and my sister who at the time still lived in Illinois. It made it so she could drive to see either of us pretty much whenever she wanted to. Who thinks of something like that.
She loved to read so she volunteered at the library so she could get dibs on the books that she wanted to read. They bought a boat and spent time fishing and managed to go on vacation all the time, which I thought was funny because to me they were always on vacation.
When the economy went in the toilet only 2 years after she retired she decided she wouldn’t have enough money to last the rest of her life as originally planned so her new profession was to
Buy junk and sell antiques
as she put it. Her favorite was to find and sell trash because she said it was making money as opposed to trading it, by turning something with no value in to something that someone wanted, she would sell for example glass Dr. Pepper bottles which are quite uncommon in Missouri at her antique booth that we were just throwing away here at home.
She would visit me and my sister about every month but I think the real reason was the road trip that let her stop at all the auctions and garage sales along the way for stock in her antique booths in Branson, MO.
All of this was before she found out she was dying, after she put living in to overdrive. She went everywhere and did everything she could. She went on a lot of cruises , 21 by the end of 2008. We went to Alaska in August and she went with her sister in September to Italy. While on the cruise in Italy she had a stroke so I went to Venice and fetched her off the last ship she was on. It was quite an experience, as you can imagine Venice is not wheelchair compatible, no floating wheelchairs. Having never been there she insisted we go out to a nice dinner so I could experience it first hand.
I remember her telling me
I don’t know how I ever had time to work
Mom, I miss you so much.
Thank you to The Daily Post