A note from our president, Michelle Welsh

September 2013

Getting to Ninety

I recently spent a weekend in Houston with my mother and her brother and sister. Just being with the people I spent so much time with as a child made me think about my life and what I still hope to accomplish. My mom is the youngest of seven children. Her father died when she was three and her oldest brother, Charlie, became the man of the house at twenty-three.

In this day and age, it’s hard to imagine a twenty-three year old man taking on the responsibility of raising six children while helping his mother manage the house. (My eldest is that age and while he’d give it his all, it would be a huge endeavor now.)

My uncle worked hard, helped put food on the table, and kept a roof over the family instead of letting family services split up his brothers and sisters. He postponed his private life until they were all grown.

Growing up, Uncle Charlie was more of a grandpa to me than an uncle. He even took me to a David Cassidy concert when my mom refused. Seeing him in the stadium with his hands over his ears is something I will never forget. We celebrated his ninetieth birthday Saturday.

It’s hard to see him going downhill but I’m thankful for the opportunity to see him while he still recognizes me.

On the long drive home, I gave some thought to where I want to be at ninety. First and foremost, I want to be here at ninety. I want to have decent health, which means I need to work on how I treat my body. Junk food and late nights need to be curtailed. I want some grandkids—but not just yet.

I want to be working at a job I love.

The last one’s a biggie. I want to be writing for a living when I’m old and gray(-er). And I want to have writer friends to hang out with in my old age, so get busy on your own master plan to reach the ripe old age of ninety. And keep on writing.

We have memories to accumulate and stories to tell.

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