September 5th is Irma's birthday and this year, yesterday in fact, she turned 101 years old!
Irma is probably one of the most incredible people I know, not just because she is old, but she is also wise. She has a way of looking at life that simply keeps her going, and going, and going. Today I told her that I want to be like her when I grow up. She laughed.
I guess that what I admire about her is her love of simplicity. She is a hard worker and she has a lot of nice things, a house kept as perfect and orderly as anyone I have ever known, but she just doesn't get caught up in the frill of things. She is as real as real gets.
There she is, 101 years old, spunky as ever. She works in her garden every day, she does her laundry as as an artist, she still does painting,with oil paints even though her eyesight is going bad. She makes her bed, does her dishes, takes her bath, washes her hair, even does her cooking( with a friend.) She doesn't drive and she has a secretary (as she calls her) to help her with her banking and she has someone to take he r to and from the store, but 101 years old and she lives alone.
She tells me, and everyone else, she doesn't need anybody's help. She is a no nonsense gal, you might say she can even be a little stubborn, but she has a great sense of humor too. A sign on her kitchen wall reads, "It's easy to give up!" She is not lazy and she is not a quitter.
Some well-meaning friends suggest she sells her home and move into one of those places where she would have the kind of "help" they think she needs, a place where she would "have a roof over her head." Irma tells them, "Well, what do you think I have here? I have a roof over my head right here."
Over the years I have known Irma, she has filled my head and heart with so many stories that made me smile when I would get a glimpse of Irma and the woman she was, the woman she is.
It's remarkable that people can be so old.
She has lived through a lot, seen a lot in her days, and as I listen to her stories and see her simply embrace this thing called life, I am really quite amazed. She is quite beautiful... amazing....