Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

What does 90 look like?


Last Tuesday, on our way out of our polling place, I noticed a small woman walking away. Short grey hair, slightly stooped, stripped pullover shirt. I smiled and told my husband she reminded me of my mom.

Mom wore a lot of shirts with stripes.

Today, August 11th, is mom’s birthday. I think about her a lot and sometimes wonder what she’d be like now. But I haven’t done the math in a long time. I never really know how old she’d be, just that she’d be older now than she was when I last saw her at age 75.

Today I did the math.

She would have turned 90 today. Ninety. That actually gave me a physical jolt. It seems like a huge and impossible number for her, such an old age. I guess it is.

Being a mom.

I have no idea what she’d be like at 90. I’ve seen other people reach that age. My uncle, my husband’s aunt, an elderly friend. But none of that applies to my mom.



I suppose it’s beyond my imagination to see her much differently than the way she was in July of 2004. Which seems like yesterday and a million years ago all at the same time.

She loved her birds.

So I’ll shake off the sadness and remember the fun times and wish her a very very happy 90th birthday up there in heaven. I hope she didn’t have to make her own birthday cake. I’m sure they have angels up there for that.

Happy birthday mom. You look marvelous.

On their 50th wedding anniversary. I know they’re celebrating mom’s birthday together today.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

15 thoughts on “What does 90 look like?

  1. I am sure that 90 seems unfathomable considering she passed at 75. How about 101 (almost 102). That is how old my mom when she passed in 2011. That was unfathomable every year after 85. The oldest on her side in generations that I could find. An anomaly.
    At times it was a burden watching her get old …but then I remember my gratitude and how you probably would have given just about anything to have your mom around much longer. I am sorry for your loss of your mother so young.
    My paternal grandfather died at 101 and my paternal aunt just died this spring at 102 and 10 months. When people say I have longevity in my family, I used to say, “and your point,” tongue in cheek. Watching people experience extreme aging is not fun.
    But now I hope to borrow my mother and my aunts strong spirit and will to live.


    • I watch friends and neighbors dealing with aging parents and know I was lucky in a sense not to have to do that. But yet…yes I would have loved to have them both around for more years. We sure weren’t ready to let them go at 75. Bruce’s aunt lived to 102 and a half. The last 18 mos were terrible, in a nursing home. My grandmother on my mother’s side lived to almost 100, she told me not to get that old. I’m torn between wanting to get to 100 and wanting to quietly slip away about 95.


  2. There is joy to be had in knowing she and your father are together, celebrting every moment.


  3. This is such a retrospective post, Dawn. My mom died from cancer when she was my age right now. That has always been in the back of my mind and I even mentioned it to my doctors as I was going through my treatments. They kept reminding me that cancer treatment has advanced so much since my mom was diagnosed. It is ironic how dates make us stop and do that math, as you say. Happy Birthday to your mom.


    • I wonder how I’ll feel when I turn 75, the age both my parents were when they died. Will 76 be some sort of victory? I don’t know. I’m glad your treatments were more advanced and that you have hope of a longer and healthier life than your mom got to have. The years are just flying by and it’s hard to recognize that I’m as old as I am. 75 isn’t really all that far away.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a nice remembrance of your Mom. Mine passed away this year, she was nearly 84. She had a stroke some years ago and had deteriorated quite a bit in the last couple years. I have to think back to remember how vibrant she was but those are the memories I cherish.


    • Awww, I’m sorry about your mom, Helen. It’s such a shame that people so often have to go through those hard years at the end. It’s hard for us to watch too…I kept reminding myself when Bruce’s aunt was being difficult at 102 that someday I might be in her place and I imagine I’ll be difficult too. We were just the other day remembering something from when she was much younger. We’re lucky, aren’t we, to have some of those kinds of memories to balance out all the recent stuff we had to get through.


  5. Happy Birthday to your mom — bet she’s having a blast in Heaven! More and more people are living to 90 and beyond these days. I have a neighbor still going strong at 102 (and still driving!!)


  6. My dad’s birthday was just last week. I did the math and realized he would have been 101!!! I know how you are feeling! I bet he is up in heaven and occasionally sitting on his famous “cloud #9” and watching what the rest of us are up to! We had cake for him, and I too, had to shake off sad thoughts, as I know that would annoy him!

    Cheers to them both! and cheers to the happy memories they left behind!



    • Wow! 101! Isn’t it weird how we keep thinking of them at a certain age, perhaps when they were young, or the age we last saw them. Yet time keeps moving along and the years fly by and suddenly everyone is so much older! Even us. Yep, the memories are what get us through the sad moments. Happy birthday to your dad!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. In a perfectly mathematical world, life would be measured by how life was lived. Your mom would have made 90 by the time she was 75, no problems.


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