Have you ever met someone that just knocks your socks off with their personality? That recently happened to me, and from someone I’d least expect. On a trip to Utah for a writer’s conference, I had a day open to spend with my mom. One thing we did was to visit my Great Aunt Mildred. She’s my dad’s mom’s brother’s wife. Yeah, it took me a moment to figure that out too.
When my mom first told me it would be wonderful to visit her, I acquiesced, mostly because it seemed like something my mom really wanted to do. Please don’t think ill of me when I admit I didn’t think that visiting a fairly distant relative I’d never met before was the most entertaining of choices.
Oh, and did I mention that she’s 95?
We took the 30 minute drive to her house, and I quizzed my mom about how she got to know Great Aunt Mildred. The story goes that my dad introduced my mom when they first started dating, and they hit it off.
Within a few minutes of talking to this wonderful lady, I understood why. I kid you not when I say I would have never guessed she was 95. She was as sharp as a tack and had a heck of a sense of humor. She had the cutest dog named Penny, and it was clear they kept each other company.
Mostly I listened as my mom and my great aunt swapped stories. At one point in time, Mildred told us of how she had a friend who was younger than her and always complaining about getting old. Her friend was a spry 91. What she said next blew me away.
“Do you know what I tell my friend to do each morning?” my Great Aunt Mildred asked. “I tell her to get up and sing. Just sing. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the words—make them up. It doesn’t matter if you think your voice is bad—just sing.”
If that’s the key to living to be 95 and as amazing as my Great Aunt Mildred, you betcha I’m going to be singing every morning. And yes, I’m not afraid to make up my own lyrics.