Monday, November 19, 2007

Jean and I went to our aerobics class at the pool this morning without Pam, who is keeping her 6 year old granddaughter Carrie this week. I liked the instructor who was subbing today better than any we've had, so far. She gave us a good work-out and seemed to be more accustomed to leading the exercises than some we've had, a real pro.

My surrogate mother made an observation today that both surprised and pleased me. "You know when you seem the happiest to me?" she asked.

No, I said, when?

"When you're at church," she replied. "You come alive there in a way you don't anywhere else."

Jean has known me well for about five months and has attended the same church for about three months, so I guess she has seen me in enough different situations to draw that conclusion. I do feel very much at home and comfortable at church, not unusual for someone who grew up in church, I guess. And it's the only time she sees me dressed up and wearing make-up, something that pleases and impresses her, just like it did my own mother. I always thought of it as window dressing, too much emphasis put on appearances by Jean and Jack's generation, but maybe there is something to it.

She's never met my children and grandchildren, or seen me when I'm relating to them. From my perspective, it's the only other situation when I feel as happy and comfortable, especially when they are at my house, but then I'm rarely dressed up or wearing make-up, so I'm wondering whether that happiness would be as obvious to her. It will be interesting to hear her observations after the holidays when, I'm sure, she will see me with them.

She's flying on Friday to Atlanta to visit with her son's family, and will be back home on Monday. For 86 years old, she's still got a lot of get-up-and-go. She's a real inspiration. And she will be "dressed to the nines!"

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