Caring for a parent, Retrospective

Happy 100th Birthday to my Mother

Happy Birthday to my mother. Today we celebrate with her 100 years of courageous living. She was the first in her poor east Tennessee family to graduate from high school during the Depression, the only one to go college (briefly). She was a standout secretary in her 20s.  She spoke out for desegregation in high school, fought for peace as a leader on the Peace Ribbon Project in the 80s, marched on Washington at the Million Mom March for gun control, started a wildly successful movement to save the forest on our hill, and spoke out for marriage equality as a nonagenarian. She loved my father through 51 years of marriage, and has been keeping our home on the hill alive for 21 years since his death. And she raised three daughters to be pretty darn good people. I’m so proud of her.

Click here to see her through her decades.




8 thoughts on “Happy 100th Birthday to my Mother”

    1. David. How good to hear from you. I think of you often, and am comforted knowing you are out there. Thank you for your words. We all survived the party. I think my mom enjoyed it. It was a lot. A lot of loud, a lot of words in her ear that she couldn’t hear. A lot of faces she couldn’t see. But she could sense all the people who love her and respect her presence in this community, now and in the way past. It was pretty amazing. She took her motorcycle ride around the parking lot at the end. Never too old to try something new. She’s a wonder. Thank you for seeing me through the early months. I guess, now that I think about it, I’ve come a long way, and you helped. G


  1. Gretchen, it seems to me that the above words are a lovely beginning to a 600 word article for the newspaper. I love the third picture above. If I were the printer, I’d publish that along with your words, which so strongly relate to your beautiful words, “I’m so proud of her.”
    Have a stunning day, and then you, too, can get tired! Thinking of you both with your company and smiling happily with eyes that are just a bit damp…


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