Yesterday, September 13, my mother turned 93 years old. I spoke with her the day before her birthday and she was very upbeat and very sharp. What a gift it is to live as long as I have and still have a mother who is mentally clear! While I was talking with her she mentioned a dream she had the night before. It was about Oscar. I asked what he looked like in the dream and she couldn't say for sure - just that he was strong and active. It made me think of the picture I posted here. This was taken in 1954, when I was just a toddler. They were probably 37 and 47 at the time. My goodness! I have a daughter who is 37! It is hard to reconcile the woman I see in this picture with the woman I see sitting in her chair in the nursing home. So many years have passed. The body has failed. But the real "Viola" is still the same person. That is what I try to keep focused on. I think too often we treat people according to what we "see" rather than who they really are. Who is mom? Sure, she is the mother of ten children, she is a grandmother of many, she was a hard-working farm wife for decades. She is a woman who marks her own destiny over and over. But sometimes I feel like I really don't know who she is as a person unto herself. If her "functions" were stripped away, who would I find? I hope I have time to find out.