3. Tiny Belle

Belle is my tiny mother. She turned 102 last June. She lives in a sunny, tidy apartment in sunny, tidy Florida, and still cares for herself when her morning help signs out. She has shrunk down to a mere 4’10”(more like 4’7″ at my last visit) yet her spirit is mighty as ever. I have likened her to one of those old standard washing machines, the kind that lasts forever. She is steady, dependable and content to repeat the same cycle day after day. She loves seeing things land in the same place they started. Clean clothes hanging in the closet, trash always out and the TV guide placed exactly mid coffee table. Her mind is sharp, her nails are painted and her hair is coiffed every Friday morning. She reads a novel per week with a little sight in one eye, plays bridge expertly, wins at black jack, eats meals with her friends and watches jeopardy seven nights a week. She has been checking in via phone with my brother and I on a daily basis since my father died in 2005. I love my tiny, fierce mother and I visit her loyally, as does my brother, in her sunny, tidy apartment, every month or so.

This week my mother and I reflected upon the true secret to her longevity. She needed a reasonable answer to this common query. I said, “mom, you always thought of yourself as younger than you were and thoughts are very powerful”. “Oh”, she said, “you’re right, that is true”. The next day on the phone she reported that someone asked the same old question and this time she had an answer. My mother told her friend that she “thinks young” and they were both quite pleased with their insight.

tiny belle

I wish you all a happy, healthy, peaceful holiday season and new year. Enjoy the tiny things.

With love,



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