April 2, 2011
A Message from my Mother-in-Law
By the time I met her, my mother-in-law was no longer capable of recognizing even Joe, her youngest child. But through the almost impenetrable haze that enveloped her 95-year-old mind, she remembered one thing - Bessie Adelia Bailey Meserve Dennett was a lady.
On our last visit, we found "Ma" sitting beside a sunny window, watching her favorite afternoon TV game show. When we came into the room, she greeted us with a smile and polite hello. Then, with a mighty effort at pretending to know us, she bade us take a seat and began a brief and (for us) painful conversation. At least twice she asked Joe what he did for a living, three times how many children we had. And then, having heard if not comprehended his answers, she said kindly but firmly, "Thank you for dropping by. It's always good to see you. But knowing you have a busy schedule and many errands to run, I won't take any more of your time." Thus ended our final "audience" with a grand and lovely lady.
"How to Live a Hundred Years Happily"
"Quit looking for a knock in your human motor.
"Learn to like work.
"Learn to have a hobby.
"Learn to like people.
"Learn to be satisfied.
"Learn to accept adversity.
"Learn to say the cheerful, humorous thing.
"Learn to meet your problems with decision."
"The key is: I'm going to keep my attitude and my thinking as pleasant and as cheerful as possible."
We have no idea where she found this list of goals, or whether she coined them herself, but she believed them and happily lived by them.
And she achieved them all.
All, that is, but one.
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