1: At sixty-six (almost 67), she’s still adorable. It’s amazing to walk beside her and see men ogle her.
2: Her blazing Irish temper. A spunky gal, she is.
3: Poker player extraordinaire. She was the only woman allowed at my brother’s poker club.
4: Her sense of fun. This is one sociable woman. Two of her sisters once came to visit, and they decided to look for a game of shuffleboard. The only one around was at a biker bar. They went there, three tiny gals over the age of sixty, and endeared themselves to everyone– dancing with bikers, serving beer, and partying. They may have even played shuffleboard. I went back with Mom about a week later, because she wanted to bring them pictures that she’d taken. We walked in, and all of these bikers were shouting out her name and hugging her, as though the queen of the Hell’s Angels had entered the place. It was crazy!
5: Extra onions. She always orders extra onions. I like this because it adds to her “deal with it” attitude.
6: Her “deal with it” attitude. She just doesn’t care much what anyone thinks about her.
7: At one point, she could drink a sailor under the table, and I’m sure that she did a time or two.
8: She cares about her world, is politically active, and she’s a card carrying member of the ACLU.
9: She loves God, and she loves her religion.
10: I once had to talk her out of getting a tattoo. She was kind of drunk or I wouldn’t have interfered.
11: She’s strong. After three kind of crummy husbands, and a life filled with a lot of pain and hardship, she’s become an expert at picking herself up, dusting herself off, and reinventing her life. And she NEVER whines.
12: She loves family (especially her children), and they are always her priority. She never misses a family function, and never forgets those who’ve been kind to her.
13: She speaks her truth.
14: She has a cool car.
15: She has a great laugh, and she uses it often.
16: She has excellent taste in clothing.
17: She’s adventurous. I could tell you stories that would curl your hair.
18: She shares her stories with me. Some of them curl my hair.
19: She’s cool in this timeless way. She has friends who are eighty, and friends who are thirty. Gay friends, straight friends, religious friends and heathen friends.
20: She came from nothing, and made herself into something. Professional, intelligent, kind, and sparkly. My mother’s very sparkly.
21: She called me while I was writing this, and asked me how to look up Amy Winehouse’s rehab video on YouTube. To show her grandson.