Today, February 1st, 2012, my loving, vivacious mom, Vangie Burt Regan, turns eighty years old.
Yes, I used ALL-CAPS because holy mackerel that’s a lot of years!
Here I am, going on and on about turning forty, but EIGHTY?
If you were to meet my mom you would never know she is eighty. Her hearing is going and her walk is slowing, but her zest for life just keeps growing and growing. And despite bunions and arthritic hands, she is pure spunk from head to toe.
I’ve spent the past few weeks working on a video montage for her big birthday bash (and when I say big, I mean 400-people-aboard-the-USS-Midway big), and though the video will ultimately be my birthday gift for her, it has also turned into a gift for me. Sifting through piles of photos, albums and picture frames has gifted me glimpses of her long, fruitful life, both past and present. Some were moments I could recall with faces I know well, and others were of a time and place I know nothing of.
Like her days as a songleader at Pasadena City College
or as the Social Director of the Arizona Biltmore.
My favorite part of the video montage is the section with photos of my mom and her husband, Jim. They went to high school together (so did my mom and dad, but that’s a entirely different story), and reunited six years ago, after both of their spouses had passed away. Seeing them together is romantic and love-affirming. It’s beautiful to see two people in their Golden Years, enjoying life together, traveling the world and truly making every moment count.
Three things were a constant in every single photo:
1) Her strawberry blond hair. Even in the black and white photos, her red hair stands out.
2) Her smile. My mom’s smile lights up any and every room. Always has, always will.
3) Her spirit. Her positive spirit oozes out of her, and is apparent in each one of the photos.
She is truly an inspiration to everyone that knows her.
Happy Birthday, Mom. I am proud and blessed to be your daughter. And I will stop complaining about being forty because you have proven to me that the best is yet to come.