The Bionic Energizer Bunny Woman

The “Bionic Energizer Bunny” Woman

What else would you call someone who tirelessly works to help others – family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers?  Someone who’s home is always ‘show-ready’ and comfortably lived-in?  Who never seems to slow down – even after two complete knee replacements (one about six years ago and one seven weeks ago), major repair surgery for a torn rotor cuff injury that same year, and other surgeries and medical procedures for various personal and health problems over her lifetime?

This lady has been a widow for a bit over two years but has put her memories in a treasured mental love box (63 years married to the same wonderful man) and continues to live and enjoy life.

It has been said of her that “she has never met a stranger – just people she hasn’t gotten to know yet”.  If you meet her for the first time, within minutes, she’ll engage you in conversation and know more about you in ten minutes than you’ve shared with your best friend in ten years (okay, but it’s only a slight exaggeration).  She simply has a knack for making you feel comfortable and at home, and that she genuinely is interested in YOU – and she is!

Friends and strangers alike are often amazed, at nearly 84 years old, how she keeps going, and going, and – got the picture?  The ‘Energizer Bunny’ come to life in a senior lady that does not know the meaning of the words stop, can’t or rest.  Her philosophy seems to be she’ll rest when she’s dead and you can try, but you won’t stop her – and she really does not know the meaning of ‘can’t’ – her attitude is maybe not now, but eventually.

If she likes you (and there is an extremely small list of those she doesn’t), there is nothing she won’t try to do for you.  Need a few bucks?  Done.  Need a meal; or two?  Done.  Need a place to stay for a night, a few days, a week?  She’ll put you up and feed you, give you your own clean towels, bar of soap and a new toothbrush.  She is true Southern Hospitality come to life.  A truer friend one could not ask for.

Gracious, caring, loving, street-smart and savvy; you might take advantage of her once – but she’ll forgive you and just put you on her watch list (burn me once, shame on you; burn me twice, shame on me).

She has always kept a clean home (not just house, a home), so much so that you can eat off the proverbial floor and not have to worry about dirt or germs.  A wife to her husband that others envied, mother to two boys (okay, men now – one is 59 and one is 56 – but they’ll always be her boys), grandmother to four (three boys and one girl), step-grandma to two more girls, and great-grandmother to one (so far).

While her formal education officially ended with high school (although in her time, a H.S. education was equal to a 2-year liberal arts education today), she has continue to be involved in training her mind and personality.  She reads, not just skims, two newspapers a day (minus the sports section – except when her boys were playing sports and sometimes were mentioned), watches the news, had conversations with her husband about events around the world (usually professing to not care about the rest of the country or world – but then try to hide a tear at the plight of the poor, the disadvantaged, and generally unfortunate ones, both here in the U.S. and around the planet).

She can be opinionated about what she feels and believes, but is always willing to have an honest discussion and to be open to the ideas of others.

One of the things that changed for her has been her unwillingness to just accept things that should or could have been done better – or right.  In her younger days, she would never complain in a restaurant if her order was wrong – over-cooked steak, limp salad greens, whatever – she’d simply eat it and then tell her husband that she didn’t think they’d be coming back to that place again.

Now, having ‘earned the privilege in her old age’ as she tells it, she will send an order back, change an order completely, insist on having it her way (no matter how many times we tell her she’s not at Burger King – old advertising slogan), and kid with both server, the cook, and always over-tip (she once worked as a waitress and has great sympathy for the breed).

In spite of the artificial knee joints (now she has to show two photos to the airport screeners when the metal detectors go off), repaired shoulder, and other medical procedures, in spite of advancing years, and especially in the face of those who keep telling her she can’t or shouldn’t or she better slow down, she just keeps on truckin!

So while others might call her the “Energizer Bunny” or the “Bionic Woman”, or that “tough old bird with no quit in her”, I am lucky enough to call her “Mom.”

~  Chuck

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