97 Years Young

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My Grandma turned 97 on Sunday.

No, I didn’t transpose the numbers, she really is 97 years young. She’s already planning her 100th birthday party, and my parents have moved said party from their back yard to a local reception hall. Because pretty much, if you’ve met her, you are cordially invited.

This past weekend the Indiana portion of her family gathered to celebrate, because, well, she’s 97. Before the party started, we were talking and I once again, realized what an amazing, kind and caring person my grandmother really is. My grandma is still mobile and independent. She still beats me at Scrabble, enjoys playing bridge and is hip to the assisted living center’s dining room politics. She loves fresh flowers, songs she can sing along to, and Everybody Loves Raymond.

She worries though, about her friends at the assisted living center who are becoming, as she puts it “very forgetful”. The friends who sometimes forget when to come to dinner, or forget her name, or don’t remember what day it is.

Last week, when she noticed her friend (who never has visitors and never leaves the center, she tells me) wasn’t at BINGO, Grandma went up to the front desk and asked them to call her friend Mary down for BINGO. The receptionist told her that they couldn’t do that, or else they’d have to call everybody for every activity. My grandma then proceeded to walk back to her own room to call Mary and remind her that it was BINGO day. Mary was surprised and thrilled, because she had, in fact, forgotten it was BINGO day. (according to Grandma, Mary kind of lives for BINGO)

The next morning, my grandma stopped by the manager’s office and complained about the receptionist’s response. After all, isn’t that the point of being in the assisted living center? To get assistance? She gave the manager a short list of her friends who are, in her opinion, becoming a bit “forgetful” and needed a phone call now and then as a reminder.

She then told me that her conversation must have gotten them to thinking, because now that staff is knocking on doors at activity time when the regulars aren’t around.

And I thought to myself, I can only hope to be so thoughtful when I am 97. I mean really, who does that?  (Walking back to her room to call her friend probably took her 10 minutes. She’s mobile, but she moves slowly.)

My grandmother, that’s who!!

So when 1-800 Flowers offered me the chance to send flowers this month as part of their Deliver Birthday Smiles Campaign, I had them sent to her. She was tickled pink, and marveled how they were in the shape of a birthday cake.  She brought them to the dining room to show to all her friends. Then she put them on the shelf outside her room, which typically holds holiday decorations.

Happy 97th Birthday, Grandma!

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(Disclosure: I wrote two posts this month for 1-800-Flowers.com in exchange for these flowers being sent to Grandma. My grandma’s awesomeness? Is all her own.)

P.S. I had a totally different post ready to go, all about how things have changed since 1913. Then I had such a nice conversation with her on Sunday, I couldn’t not write about that. I’ll have to run the 1913 post next year for her birthday. You know, when she turns 98!

5 Replies to “97 Years Young”

  1. Oooh I’m inspired to send flowers to my Grandma who IS one of the forgetful ones … but I’m sure she remembers how much she likes flowers. 🙂

  2. Well, if I could send anyone flowers, it would be my mother and father. They are spending their anniversary in the hospital once again, as my father’s condition continues to worsen. The one bright spot…on their anniversary, he actually remembered it was their anniversary and, after much thinking, even got the right number! For someone who’s brain is going, that’s a miracle.

    Now, my mother would yell at me if I actually spent the money to BUY her a flower arrangement, b/c — while she loves them — she feels it’s a waste of money. You have to buy her something to plant in the ground. But, if I told her I won a contest and it didn’t cost me anything, she would LOVE that.

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