life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersLast week marked a year since my mom passed away. It’s been an entire year since she left me and my sister N to fend for ourselves. She lived a long and good life into her 90s, but I still miss her so very, very much. I think of her almost every day. Sometimes I forget that she is no longer in Flo-ree-da and I find myself dialing her number. Then I remember she is not there.

“Mom, what should I do?” I asked when I was in a jam or one of the kids was sick. She always had comforting words to say. “Don’t worry, it will be okay,” she would calmly reply.

“Mom, I’m frustrated with my job,” I complained when I was unhappy with how my career was progressing or how my boss was treating me. “Do your best,” she would reassure me. “Just do your best.”

My mom was at the top of my list when I had happy news to share. “Mom, I’m getting married. Mom, I’m having a baby. Mom, I bought a condo at the shore. Mom, I’m retiring from my full-time job.” I could feel her hugs and kisses through the phone lines.

When my sister N and I emptied her condo a few years ago (before we moved mom to an assisted living residence) we donated most of her furnishings. The only prized possessions I wanted were the family photographs that she kept in her nightstand drawer.

life after 50, over 50, baby boomer women, aging

My mom was in her 20s during the 1940s.

I took the box of old photos out of my closet the other night and flipped through hundreds of pictures. It was like a history lesson – the fashions of the 1940s when my mom was in her 20s, the baby carriages of the 1950s when my sister N and I were born, the beehives and bouffant hairdos of the 1960s – the pictures made me smile and a few made me laugh. There is a lifetime of memories in those photos.

In honor of my mom, I thought I would share one of her poems. My mom wrote poems when she was a young working girl in her 20s. I hope my mom’s words bring you back to the 1940s as they did for me the other night. I hope you feel the excitement of a pretty young women named Pearl who had a gentleman caller “on the night before the night before Christmas.”

“T’was the night before the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a mouse
I had just washed my hair
And curled it in place
Got into my bathrobe
And then washed my face
When out of the silence
The telephone rings
Oh, it’s just a wrong number
Or one of those things
Aunt Martha, whose next to the darned instrument
Picks up the receiver
Then tired and spent
Says, ‘hello, what is it? Oh, you want Pearl’
Then she yells through the hall
‘It’s for you, glamour girl’
 I jump from the couch and let out with a wale
‘Is it one of the gals or is it a male?’
No chance for an answer
So I get on the phone
While that sister of mine
Just won’t leave me alone
‘Is it Sid, is it John, is it Mike, is it Joe’
 While I keep repeating, ‘Hello, hello, hello’
I finally find out to my surprise
It’s that corporal from Boston
With the baby blue eyes
He’s just dying to see me
Before he leaves town
Shall he come up or will I come down
Come up if you want and we’ll chew the fat
Do you know how to get here and just where I’m at
 I hang up the phone after giving directions
And glance in a mirror at my imperfections
No powder, no lipstick, my hair is all wet
No stockings, or shoes and I start into fret
The house is a mess, papers scattered about
Oh, why did I have to stick my neck out
Well, t’was the night before the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse
The house was all cleaned and I was all dressed
When out of the silence the door bell was pressed.”

Oh mom, I wish you were still around so I could ask you what happened next. Guess I’ll have to create my own happy ending. What do you think happened next?