Celebrating Seventy

As Mother’s 70th birthday approached, I was having the hardest time trying to figure out what to get her.  I came up with a laundry list of ideas but none of them seemed right enough, big enough, special enough, etc.  It dawned on me one night that she had mentioned a few times over the last few months how she wished I could come to town sometime to just hang out.  At first, I felt like I already do that.  But, the more I thought about it, I realized that come to town in a flurry of activity and chaos.  My crew alone makes this standard practice.  We literally swoop in, eat everything in site, cram in 1,000 excursions or a major holiday, and then fly back out in what seems like the blink of an eye.  So, I talked to Honey and decided that maybe what I should do is just go to town.  I realized that it had been TWELVE years since I had been home alone.  And, also twelve years since they have come to visit me without the same sort of craziness as we get when I go there.  How in the world did twelve years fly by.  I was 30 the last time I did this.  And, it certainly wasn’t by design or intentional.  We just get swept up in our season of life, sometimes.  And, sometimes, we can spend a lot of time with our loved ones without really spending time with them.  If there is one thing I know in life, it is that time is the greatest gift and we never know how much, or how terribly little, we will get with someone.

I told Mother to make a list of allllll the things she wanted to do during my visit.  I left Atlanta before the sun came up yesterday and we had two nights and about two and a half days to do exactly as she pleased.

Well, most of yesterday was spent in “iPhone 101” class because Mother and Daddy-O have finally moved on from the flip phones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  After staring at them on their coffee table for a week (I kid you not) they finally turned them on right before I arrived.    I will say that this experience with my two students was ummmm…. hmmmm….. memorable, I think :-).  We joked, laughed, face timed my aunt and uncle, set up email, took photos, tried out selfies, texted Sister and about 100 others, learned all about emojis, got Facebook and Instagram, listened to a podcast, plugged in the chargers and headphones, and so on and so forth. Whew!

Afterwards we celebrated with champagne punch, hung plate and pictures, fawned over her new cat Watson, and just talked.

That night we went to The Pink House for the birthday eve dinner.  It is one of our family’s favorite restaurants in Savannah and a birthday tradition for Mother.  We had a wonderful, delicious and memorable meal.  <3

We were up bright and early this morning, Mother’s big day, to make the most of our time.  We had coffee, then Paris tea and biscuits and then Daddy-O acted as our Uber driver and took us all over town to Mother’s favorite shops!!  It was a truly wonderful day.  I will share all the details tomorrow because this is getting long and I want to say this….

I am SO incredibly thankful and blessed to have these two as my parents.  They were self made and made every decision from the day I was born until long, long after we were gone  from their nest for the benefit of my sister and me.   It is not lost on me that they changed careers to be home with us when we were little, worked multiple jobs when they had to in order to provide for us when we were older, never went on a trip without us their entire lives until just a few years ago, rushed home at the end of long days to take us to dance, spent every Friday night watching us cheer, and so on and so forth.  Beyond that, they held us to the very highest of standards – morally, in school, at home, and in pretty much every thing we did.  Yet, they believed in us, let us know they were proud of us, and unconditionally loved us.  I have had the most marvelous role models in life and pray that I can do a fraction of the things right in raising my boys that they did right in raising their girls.

And, since this is Mother’s special day, I also want to say that I hope I am as beautiful, bright, selfless, energetic, fun and creative as she is when I grow up.  I say all the time that I can’t believe that God chose me to be mommy to John and Whit.  I don’t say enough that I also can’t believe that God chose me to have a mom like Mother.  I must be the luckiest girl in the world.  <3

Happy seventieth, Marme.


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17 thoughts on “Celebrating Seventy

  1. Happy birthday to your beautiful Mama! How blessed you both are to have each other. And the gift of your time that you gave her is the most precious, because she understands how busy your life is. I’m so glad y’all had a wonderful two days, celebrating her special day and just loving being together. Enjoy every moment with your parents! Much love! Judy

  2. That is awesome, what a great way to spend your mother’s birthday. I know she loves your boys, but I’ll be she truly enjoyed her time with you.

  3. Oh my goodness! As the 71-year old mother of two daughters I promise you this is the most perfect birthday gift I can imagine! Thank you for sharing and happy birthday to your mother.

  4. The Happiest of Birthday Wishes to your Mother! You couldn’t have given her a greater birthday gift than yourself. Sounds like you two had a wonderful few days together and I know how much she enjoyed having you there.

    I remember a quote by Jackie Kennedy who once said if you fail at being a parent then you fail at everything. You had the greatest gift of all and that was to have two wonderful parents who gave you a great foundation that you have now passed on to your children.

  5. This is beautiful- and a reminder that I need to spend some time alone with my own wonderful 70 year old mother. We have never met but I can tell that you are just as wonderful as your mom. Always love your posts and especially love this one.

  6. What a beautiful post!! You are a very lucky girl indeed! I feel the same way about my parents who are now 84 & 85. I cherish every day with them. ❤️

  7. Amanda I love you blog. You always inspire and share such wonderful memories. I lost both of my parents several years ago and I miss them terribly!! I feel the same way as you…I had the best parents you could ever ask for. Today (the 10th) is my birthday and my only birthday wish would be to have more time with them. Treasure your time with your family as I know you do. No one could ever take their place!!!

  8. So beautifully said! The gift of time seems ever more important as our parents get older. Time you will always cherish!

  9. This post made me tear up—-both for the sheer joy of having a great mother like you do and for having the precious children (and now grandson) I have. Your mom is simply lovely in every sense of the word!!

  10. What an absolutely beautiful post. I cannot imagine anything more that your mother could want than to spend such precious time with you. How wonderful that you were able to have this time together. My mother passed away 3 years ago in December and I miss her every single day of my life. I still want to call her a hundred times a day to ask advice about the children, cooking, decorating, marriage and so on. You are certainly blessed and I can tell that you know that. Happy Birthday to your mother! My mother would have turned seventy this year as well.


  11. What a beautiful tribute to your mother, as well as you father. I am sure both are immensely proud of you and your sister. I know they loved having your undivided attention for a few days as well.
    Happiest of Birthdays Marme!

  12. Happy belated birthday, Marme. This is a wonderful idea for a gift. So glad you were able to have this special time together! xo

  13. Happy Birthday Marme! You look amazing. I think Amanda should share your beauty regimen with us.

    As the mom of two son’s I always tell them a gift of their time is the most important thing they can give me. You are richly blessed to have both of your parents so healthy and active.

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