Find One Hundred Ways

My maternal grandmother, Roo Roo, turned one hundred years old yesterday. Her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and friends gathered at the nursing home where she lives to celebrate her centennial.
Roo Roo, always one to rise to the occasion, looked resplendent in lilac as she walked into the dining hall flanked by two of her grandchildren. More often than not Roo uses a wheelchair to get around now, but for her grand entrance on her one hundreth birthday, she insisted on walking into the room.
The entire day was a celebration of Roo Roo and the love that she has brought into the world. She is truly beloved and rightly so, she has loved so many, so well for so long.
My mother has assumed much of the responsibilty for Roo’s care in recent years, making sure to visit her regularly and let her know that she is loved. As Roo’s mental health has waned a bit it has been draining for my mother at times, but she has continued to dedicate herself to her mother’s care with a beautiful spirit of generosity and joy, never complaining.
During the celebration yesterday there was a moment that impacted me deeply. The party was deejayed by a Phil Spector looking guy with cowboy boots and a matching belt; a real character. He had a karaoke machine and sang everything from Hank Williams to Neil Diamond.  He was basically background music for the affair and, other than the children, nobody was really dancing.
At one point Phil started singing and my parents got up to dance a lindy. Nobody else was on the floor but them; they were in their own little world, relishing one anothers’ company. I remember they had taken dance classes together years ago and now they were getting their money’s worth for every one of those lessons.
My mom’s face was exuberant, smiling ear to ear, and my dad looked cool and determined, remembering the steps and excitedly keeping it together. Their dance was a celebration of their love and their marriage of forty-three years. It was also a lesson for me that love is a decision. Just like my mother’s decision to visit Roo every week, getting out there on the dance floor as Phil Spector sang was a decision, a conscious effort to embrace the moment, cherish one another and cut loose with an exuberance that says “Yes!” to one another and to life.
Celebrating my Roo Roo’s one hundreth birthday was a day I will always remember. Doing so with the ones I love, who have demonstrated real love through good and bad times, reminds me of life’s preciousness and the opportunity that each moment presents to say “Yes! I love you!”
‘Deed I do.

2 thoughts on “Find One Hundred Ways

  1. Thanks for sharing this Ted. I saw you live at Gotham in October and was very happy to catch you by chance on Keith and the Girl the other night, I couldn’t remember your name from the live set and was kicking myself for it!! You’re such a smart, amazing comedian and reading your stuff here I see you’re also truly an all round NICE PERSON, and that’s saying a lot in this crap existence. I hope to come across you again very soon…xoxo

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