Filled with Anticipation at 90 Years

Anne Harris, mother of three, including me, is ninety years old today. Each day is a blessing.

She has always been an active participant in the sometimes wonderful, sometimes trying, always surprising stages of life. In recent years she has been an acute observer of old age. Several of her computer generated pictures and books on aging have been widely shared through her books which have been sold through the internet. You can view some of these at her site HERE, and in particular you might look at her most often asked for book, titled Experiencing Old Age, HERE.

Anne recently has gotten a better picture of what she faces as death becomes a nearer friend. She writes frankly about the possible lines of development as her body breaks down. She is not filled with dread of death but with anticipation an hope.

Being an artist and, how shall we say, Anne, she expressed her anticipation in a recent picture she drew of herself on the computer. Being partially bald, Anne in this drawing is nude except for a silk cap on her head. She, like Venus in Botticelli's Birth of Venus, is modest even in her nakedness, although in old age there is less to be modest about. But the hand that Venus has partially covering her breasts is, in Anne's self pose, lifted high to catch a star in the heavens. Lacking Venus' hair, a star already caught provides modesty below. Venus is on a shell and is being born into the world. Anne is rising from the earth, and being borne to the heavens. Behind and below is North America (with some liberties). Above is the blackness of space and stars.

I am so proud of my mother that I can hardly stand it!

In the midst of all the frump in Anglican blog land there have been people on opposite shores who this week end have found life to celebrate in large and small happenings, life greater than the foibled life of Anglican Land .

Fr. Jake takes joy in the life of a parish on a "regular" Sunday. Susan Russell got honored but spent more time delighting in others. Over at Stand Firm, Sarah Hay found the story of the death of a young man and its effect on parents worth the pondering. We all need reminders that in the midst of the seemingly momentous issues there are is the living of our lives, and grace comes mostly from the living, not from the issues.

Of course after the reflections it is back to work. After all, if I don't write something on the current situation in Anglican Land, my mother won't read my blog. But wait...if that happens maybe she will have more time for greater revelations from a life filled with anticipation. It is almost a convincing argument for... oh, never mind.

Happy Birthday, Anne.


  1. Natalie Roberts Kerr5/5/08 11:55 AM

    The picture is too extraordinarily WONDERFUL for words! I want to grow old just like Anne - and another grand dame, whose last words were, "I'm finally going to have my curiosity satisfied!"
    The artist and her son & daughter-in-law aren't bad, either.
    Congrats to the lot of you - and best wishes for a happy celebration.

  2. Mark,
    Yes, you are truly blest. I know you give thanks for your mother every day. The pictures are so wonderful and I can feel the contentment in your words about her. Unfortunately we don't all have the same kind of later life. Things are not good for my mother these days (http://aprodigalblog.blogspot.com/2008/04/is-there-wideness-in-gods-mercy.html) and it tears me up. I wish I knew what to do. Hang on to your blessings; they are precious beyond measure.

  3. Many many happy returns and blessings for your mother on her 90th birthday (from one Taurus to another) and happiness for her proud son.

  4. Blessings on her ... and on the fruit of her womb! We'll give thanks for BOTH today at our noonday Eucharist at All Saints in Pasadena.

  5. My model of growing old gracefully is an anonymous elderly woman I saw at a parade in Manhattan many years ago. One of New York's Finest pointed out to her that she was on the wrong side of the barricade. "Ma'am, you have to move!" he insisted. To which she replied in a surprisingly strong voice, "I'm 85 years old, I don't HAVE to do anything!"
    She watched the whole parade from the "wrong" side of the barricade with the cop standing meekly beside her.

  6. Happy Birthday to Anne! What a woman she is, and what an inspiration. I know she is as proud of you as you are of her. Moms and children SHOULD be a mutual admiration society but so often aren't. Blessings on all of you.

  7. Your mother's art totally ROCKS. How ever does she do that? Is it really computer generated?

    You are the best tribute to your mother. Blessings on you both.

  8. Happy Birthday dear Mother of all things to be thought and remembered and shared.

    Romp onward, dear lady

    90 CHEERS

    Leonardo Ricardo

  9. Romp onward, dear lady

    I'm with Leonardo. Happy Birthday Mrs. Harris--you are an inspiration to us all! Both for your creativity and for your good stewardship of the lives that were entrusted to you.



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