My mom has always loved a 1950’s drink called a Sidecar.  A simple cocktail…cognac, orange liqueur and lemon…with sugar around the rim of the glass.  In all my 71 years of knowing my mom…I have never seen her drunk…but I have seen her with a big smile on her face after a couple of Sidecars. More about that in a moment.

These days, mom lives in a beautiful assisted living place near our family home in Palos Verdes, California.  She is closing in on 98 years old.  She is happy, healthy, a bit frail and has some memory issues…short term memory is not good at all, but she still remembers much of the past and recognizes and interacts with family by name…and we are thankful for that gift.

Since Linda and I live in Hawaii, we can not see her as much as we would like.  Happy to say, both of my kids (now adults) and our grandkids all live near her.  Her younger sister Jeannie, who lived with and cared for her after my dad passed away, often travels in from Colorado to see my mom.  So, my mom sees family often.

This year at Thanksgiving, our daughter Stephanie, her husband Joe and two of our grand kids stopped by to see mom.  They brought along two Sidecars for her (Joe’s idea).  Mom was delighted and said it was the best birthday ever (ok…she missed on that part a bit…Thanksgiving not birthday…but, I repeat, she is nearly 98 years old and had consumed two Sidecars).  She also mentioned that it was a great way to start the day, which amused the grand kids to no end given that it was 6pm at night.

Why do I even bring up this small little bit of family business…I do it just to say that I am really thankful to still have my wonderful mom around.  I am also thankful for both of my kids and their families that have supported, loved and often cared for my parents…and now just my mom…for many many years…and not because I have asked them to do so…they have always done it because they love our family.  In case Jim or Stephanie or their spouses or kids ever read this blog…please know that I noticed their loving care and kindness and I will always appreciate it.  And, yes, I expected nothing less.

As for my aunt Jeannie…she literally gave up years of her life to care for my dad, mom and my sister…moving from Colorado to California to do so…enduring some very difficult times and her own physical problems…all because she loves my mom and our family.  So Jeannie…I love my mom too…and I sure love you.  Thank you.

And how about this…my best friend, Mike Fayles, sends my mom new clothing several times a year…so she always looks great.  Mom has always been a good looking woman and Mike makes sure she keeps the old guys at her assisted living place chasing after her.  You know why Mike does this?  Because he loves my mom and our family and he is one thoughtful son of a gun. Thanks Mike.

Thanksgiving has come and gone for another year…but we all have so much to be thankful for everyday.  I understand how screwed up the world is right now…but I hope we can all take a moment everyday and focus on the things in our lives that are not screwed up…that bring us joy…that fill our hearts….and then go out and knock back a couple of Sidecars to get the day going.

Aloha.