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Letter From Mom

[From my Mom, who recently turned 70. I had asked her to jot down some thoughts on her big milestone. An envelope arrived one day with the following, written by hand of course, a loopy cursive. (She's never sent an email in her life, to my knowledge. She's more afraid of computers than she is of snakes). The poem at the end is hers. I've deleted a couple of lines that refer to specific individuals; otherwise this is as written. It may help to know that she is a farm girl, a plant person, and has an unusually sunny disposition. And speaks in a melodious voice such that when she answers the phone, "Hello" comes out as about four syllables. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!]

You ask me to write down how it feels to wake up one morning and realize I am 70 years old. It is amazing. To think I haven't fallen off the turnip wagon yet. It's like being free.

So much I don't have to worry about. Do people like me? So many people like me I get wore out and have to go hide out at my nursery.

Can I get a job? I have a job. I have worked since I was 10 and plan to continue. I sell everything I grow and am only limited by my lack of energy. My crops are first class and everyone wants them.

I have contributed to the education of 7 people...

Dying holds no terror. I have done my bit for my mother, my father, my children, my husbands...

When I am gone, read this poem:

Do not weep for me
Just because my face you cannot see
I am here
Singing in the rain
Dancing with the breeze
With the day the sun and I grow flowers
In the night the owl helps me pass these peaceful hours
And this I choose as my eternity.

Love, Mom

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 11, 2007; 1:57 PM ET
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