I am grappling with the concept of my mother being 70. Which the calendar says is true today.
In my mind, she's the 40-year old who went back to work when I was in elementary school, setting off each morning in her walking shoes with her lunch and left-overs. Who swam at lunch. Who set an example of being a capable working woman who took care of herself and her family.
In my mind, she's the mid-40s breast cancer survivor. Hard to believe that her mastectomy was more than 2 decades ago. Not that I ever actually believed she wasn't going to survive that. She was my mother. She *is* my mother.
In my mind, she's the computer programmer on call late at night.
In my mind, she's the woman who fell asleep on the chest freezer b/c she was so, so, tired and had been taking care of her injured and whining teenage daughter for too many nights running.
In my mind, she's the woman in her early 50s who asked me what I wanted for my 21st birthday and when I said "24 pink and green giraffes" she found a drawing of two giraffes, photocopied it a dozen times, and colored them in with pink and green highlighters.
In my mind, she's the woman who sent me little cards of encouragement through difficult grad school years. Who has knit me so many sweaters.
In my mind, she's in her mid-50s, making the food for my wedding. Baking the cake. Refitting the wedding dress she made me in last minute alterations.
In my mind, she's not *70*. Nothing wrong with 70. I know fabulous, sharp-as-a-tack, spry and lively 70-year-olds. But my mother's not supposed to get "old". She's my mother. She will always be my mother. And my friend. And for that, I am so very thankful.