Sunday, July 27, 2008

After 90, then what?

My mom celebrated her 90th birthday this past week. She'd had a 90th birthday send-off from her friends in Florida this past winter, and her actual 90th was celebrated by her friends in Edmonds Thursday. Friday night I took her to Canlis (a celebration we'd decided on three years ago).

This morning I called my mom and she said that now all the fuss (cards, flowers, candy, and phone calls from friends back East) is over, she is feeling a little bit down. After all, what do you celebrate after 90?

A good question, and not one you can field with a trite answer.

I told her that I had a bit of the same problem when I left Apple. When I worked at Apple, that was pretty much my identity -- a short label that everyone recognized and found impressive. I knew that the day after I left Apple I'd be just another freelance writer.

And, yet, it turned out better than that. The cache of having been at Apple stuck with me, and has been very helpful in getting contract work. In the same way, having made it to 90 will now be an achievement that follows her.

My mom is an unusual 90, because she doesn't look it, and certainly doesn't act it. Or sound it. She called her doctor's office the other day to make an appointment for her annual checkup and the woman on the phone, trying to find the chart for yet another Anderson, asked for the year she was born. My mom said "1918" and the woman yelped "What?!!!"

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