Today I learned that my friend, Rita’s, Mom passed away in February at age 107. What a remarkable feat! My own sweet Mother passed in 2008 at age 86. Oh how I miss her. It is true that you cannot do enough for a mom because when she is gone that is it for now. Don’t lie with regrets over a commission or omission. She knew you loved her. I remember Rita saying that her Mom would have a little sherry before dinner ever night. I don’t think that is any secret to a long life but I do know DNA has something to do with it. I’m guessing that Rita will outlive me! I also know that the quality of a life is more important. I believe that the best things I know came from my mother, Nelda. She was artsy and I love color. She was a giver who wrote letters every day. I am a great communicator and a creator. Was Nelda brave? I’m sure she was but today I practiced something opposite to her. Many years ago we took a vacation where the meals were included. I remember watching her order grape juice for the first course, night after night. She may have loved grape juice but she may have been unsure of the other items offered. I am on vacation. I took a full hour for breakfast along with chatting with other guests and reading another Agatha Christie novel. Everything I choose I had never sampled before. The food is not the point but embracing the new. I may no longer grab a hard-boiled egg as I run out the door or eat another dry bread crust with peanut butter like I have been eating for the past few months. I will try not to rush anything. What is retirement to you? I think it includes resting better, taking time, and being thoughtful about choices – especially regarding time. What would God prefer I do other than include people and happiness in each day? I am on a mission to finish well but not finish perfectly. There is room for the grape juice kind of day! Lastly, I do not know what faith or thoughts Rita’s Mom had in the end. I never met her but heard that she died peacefully. I hope she is in Heaven. The best thing Nelda did for her children was to teach us about Jesus. I have eternal life and will someday hold my Mother again. Will we toast with grape juice?