Celebrating a BIG Birthday

By: Kathy Kelsey Foley, director on May 29th, 2013

By Kathy Kelsey Foley, director
Today is my mother-in-law’s 97th birthday. While not a milestone in the traditional sense – it doesn’t end in five or zero – when you’re in your tenth decade, every birthday is a milestone.
I admire and adore my mother-in-law and have been proud to call her “Mom” for almost forty years. Margaret or Margy to most, to me, she’s Mom.
She has an indomitable spirit, a gorgeous complexion, and a youthful attitude that belie her age.

Sadly, she took a tumble in December and rehabbing has been difficult. Although her mobility is diminished, she’s still up on the news and certainly in command when it comes to her family.
My mother-in-law last visited Wausau and the Woodson Art Museum ten years ago.
I remember the occasion vividly because it was a 50th birthday surprise for me. With lots of family in tow, we made an afternoon visit to the Museum. Art Park was relatively new and although the youngest among our group was a “grown up” by any measure, everyone took delight in hamming it up thanks to the plentiful assortment of bird costumes . . . a memory that still makes me smile.
Backyard bird watching and bird feeding always have been among my mother-in-law’s pleasures. She kept the requisite Roger Tory Peterson field guide in the kitchen, and she repeatedly tried to foil the squirrels at her feeders.
Each fall I supplied her with a new Birds in Art catalogue, and she’d make a point of letting me know which artworks especially caught her eye.
Conventional wisdom says that “aging is not for the faint of heart.” I know my mother-in-law agrees, keeping that positive spirit front and center.
I celebrate her birthday with this blog post – I just couldn’t pass up the coincidence that today was my turn in the staff blogging rotation – and I acknowledge her as a role model for a life well lived.
Happy Birthday, Mom!

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