Were she alive, my Mother would have celebrated her one hundred and first birthday today. And it would have been in fine fashion. She was always proud to be born on the longest day of the year, although I’m not sure she really had a conscious say in the matter. That and obtaining a Ph.D. in her late fifties were two of the personal achievements she often shared as she got to know new acquaintances.
Of course, she was proud of me (her daughter) and her two grandsons. She was proud of her one hundred percent Irish heritage and her many travels and being a flight attendant in the early nineteen forties, when you could not be married and keep your job. Years later, when TWA attendants went on strike, former stewardesses (which is what they were called back then) returned to staff the planes. My Mother was the oldest person to return to “active” duty. If there was a third special achievement, it was that.
This evening I called my Mother’s sister and we reminisced, as we always do on this day. We’re probably the only two people on earth who remember June 21 religiously, but not for the universal reason. We’ve done this for twenty-three years.