Mom At 95

September 23rd, 2015


I just returned from a visit to Minnesota to visit my 95-year-old mother Norma.  Living in an assisted living facility, she continues to be an inspiration to me.  She loves to play bridge, which requires intact cognition and the ability to strategize.  Every evening in the facility, a group of residents gather to play cards, and my mother wouldn’t miss an opportunity to adorn her hands with rings from a collection which she has maintained over a lifetime.


Her white hair is her crowning glory, and as I grow my hair out from red to white, I see my future in the photo above.  She never lets a day go by without choosing earrings and other accessories to partner with an outfit from her closet.


Macular degeneration limits her eyesight and she walks with a walker, but it doesn’t interfere with her ability to enjoy life to the fullest and engage with a sense of humor. Totally independent with activities of daily living, Mom loves to tell stories of the past, but she lives in the present.


Captivating Crone Series

Jan, my best friend from high school, joined us at the facility for photos, laughter and conversation.  Jan is 72, like myself, and at times volunteers to play cards with the residents, which of course includes my mom.  She tells me that my mother is a role model for others because of her ability to accept loss and limitations, and move forward with grace and good humor.

Jan’s hair has been its natural color for several years and she’s wearing a gorgeous silk velvet scarf which she purchased during a trip to Sweden.  Her warm smile is no different than it was when we first met in 1956.

I love connecting with Jan during my visits to my home state of Minnesota.  After graduating from nursing school together in 1964, our lives diverged, but we have rich history and we know each other deeply.  Long term friendships are one of the treasured gifts of aging.


It has become a ritual for me to complete each Minnesota adventure with a visit to the Walker Art Center HERE in Minneapolis. The Walker is a multidisciplinary contemporary art center and one of the “big five” museums of modern art in the country HERE.  I have seen some on the most impactful exhibits of my life at this revered Minnesota landmark.


I checked out the exhibit honoring Jack Whitten: Five Decades of Painting HERE.  The above oil on canvas was titled Martin Luther King’s Garden.  As an abstract painter, Jack Whitten explores the concept of “Soul Mapping” HERE, and I was enthralled with the first exhibit to span the full breadth of his work.

Later in the day I flew back to Denver, inspired by my return to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” and the place on earth that holds more memories than I can articulate or count.  Until the next time.


Now back in Denver I look forward to the opening reception (October 1st from 6:30-9pm) of my friend Susan Wick’s art exhibit Wild Women Never Get The Blues HERE. The show will be at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art from October 1st through January 3rd, 2016.  It’s an exhibition not to be missed!

 “Showcasing 50 years of the prolific and eccentric work of Susan Wick, this exhibition will feature a site-specific, immersive installation with a selection of paintings, drawings, artist books, ceramic works, knit works, puppets, and masks, among many other objects.”…The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.

26 Responses to “Mom At 95”

  1. colleen tsoukalas

    Always love reading your work. Inspirational!

  2. Pam@over50feeling40

    This is precious! And the art exhibit sounds fun! Have a great week, Judith.

  3. Chris

    Like Mother, Like Daughter.

  4. Joyce

    Safe travels, mom is adorable, how blessed you both are, many more trips of making memories.

  5. Curtise

    Norma, Judith and Jan – there are three very beautiful women featured in this post! Adapting to change with grace and humour is certainly a life skill worth acquiring, we can all learn from your mum’s example. And yes, friends who have known us forever are truly wonderful.
    “Wild Women never Get The Blues” is a fabulous title for an exhibition, it sounds very exciting – do share some photos with us when it opens! xxx

  6. Anonymous

    I so enjoy your blog posts! You, your mother and your many friends are truly inspiring examples in different ways of how to live life not only with style, but with grace.

  7. April

    Judith, how wonderful to still have your mother alive and so vibrant!

    My own mother lived to be 90 years of age, and while she remained active physically, her mental faculties had greatly declined. Before that happened, she did enjoy playing cards, too.

    The Jack Whitten painting you show, “Marten Luther King’s Garden”, is fabulous. Hope you enjoy the art reception and opening.


  8. Wendra

    A lovely read and beautiful photographs – thank you for sharing.

  9. Marsha Carlin

    Judith, what an inspiring, uplifiting post. Just what I needed! And I plan to look for Susan Wick’s exhibit in Boulder when we’re there the end of Dec.
    Thanks for sharing! Enjoy Debra’s workshop!

  10. Patti

    Thank you for this lovely uplifting post, Judith. There is much beauty in aging, as demonstrated by you three graceful women. My own mother is living, but slowly losing her cognitive abilities, a sad progression xox

  11. Spashionista (Alicia)

    I have so missed reading your posts – glad to be back! Your mother’s attitude is definitely something we can all aspire to. Grace in the face of change and decline is the epitome of a life well-lived. How lucky you both are to have each other. Thank you for sharing her story and thee wonderful artwork as well.


  12. No Fear of Fashion

    Indeed your mother is a role model. I hope I will be like her when I am her age. I am determined to grow old. My father became 90 and my mother is still alive and 87. As you saw on my blog, very much kicking.

  13. Feda

    I love the way you have documented your adventure and all the people you’ve met. I love seeing your mom and hearing about how she stays positive! Love the fashion of course too 😉 FABULOUS as always!

  14. Shelby Anderson

    I just wanted to say that I SO enjoyed reading about your Mom…and I hope I can be more like her. I am older…79..approaching that 80th birthday next spring. Sometimes I do feel weary and wonder if it’s worth it to keep pushing that envelope…I do try to stay active and busy but there are so many days when I just feel weary. This makes me want to try a little hardeer…so..thank you. Shelby Anderson

  15. Jewel

    Dear Judith,
    I love this post about your visit and your deep connection to your roots and especially your amazing mother. She is a true beauty, just like you! When a person engages with life no matter their limitations, they are Beautiful. My mother has always taught me that we should never stop learning. That learning and trying new things or keeping a strong commitment to our favorite things be it Art, Music, Language or Style is the way to stay vital and happy! It seems to me that both you and your mom possess this “love for life”! Thanks so much for sharing her, and your best friend with us!
    Love, Jewel xo

  16. Lost Roses

    Judith, I read and enjoy every one of your posts and rarely comment but this one touched me deeply. I am a few years younger than you and my own mother has been dead for 55 years. What an amazing gift that you have each other at this stage in your lives. Unimaginable to me!

    Lovely ladies all but you are particularly stunning in the orange/red outfit.

  17. Vix

    How wonderful to have your mother and that she’s bright, happy, healthy and stylish. What an inspiration to us all. xxx

  18. Ellen

    What a glorious and fabulous spirit! She is a treasure!

  19. Shelley

    Three inspiring women in this post! You and your friend Jan are definitely examples of what is possible for your 70’s – youthful, creative, engaged in life and engaging people. I wish my mother had the attitude your’s has. She only sees her limitations and not what is possible, which means she is unhappy most of the time. You and your mother share the same zest for life.

  20. Jody

    What a beautiful woman your Mother is in both spirit and form. Thank you for sharing her zeal with us.

  21. That's Not My Age

    Three beautiful women. So pleased that your mother is healthy and happy and a role model to the other residents. LOVE the first photo of her rings!

  22. pao

    Such an inspiring post and photos, Judith. They always are, but mothers can’t help but strike a chord. Thanks for being there and for sharing what you do. It really means a lot.

  23. Jan Jeremiason

    Judith, What fun to see these pictures and to remember the joy in the process! I visited your mom and brought my iPad so I could enlarge the photos for her. She was pleased! I read your complimentary tributes about her ability to “accept loss and limitations, and move forward with grace and good humor.” So true, and hearing that in your blog is a wonderful re-enforcement. Thanks for sharing!

    Love, Jan

  24. Kessala

    Wow, your mom is doing so great for her age! I only wish I had my mom survive in such good shape into her 90s.

    My favorite photo is of her folded hands with all the ornate rings. Good for your mom for enjoying her jewelry every day!

    Where you wear hats, I wear jewelry. Can’t be without my “bling”. I wear jewelry 24/7, changing pieces every day. It’s like a small hobby I thoroughly enjoy.

    Your blog brings me joy. Thank you!


  25. Melanie

    I can imagine you and Jan hanging out in high school, laughing, wondering what’s next, and your mum fretting about what’s next too! I love these photos of your mother. Classy woman, and clearly she has had a big impact on your life stylewise. Moving forward with grace and good humour – yes, wise. I’m working on the grace part.

  26. Angela

    My grandmother just passed away this January at 102 years old! She was sharp as a tack (mentally and stylishly) and played bridge almost to the end! So many people admired her graciousness, style and attitude. Thanks for sharing your mom with your readers.

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