February 10, 2015

Aging Gracefully

We had a big party on January 27, when the mum-in-law celebrated her 95th birthday. She has not been well since about a week before Christmas, but luckily, she held herself up, and with style too. My brother & sister-in-law came up and helped her fix everything and the husband and I could relax a little and feel like guests. Friends and family gathered for birthday fika in the afternoon, and then my sister-in-law made a great dinner for the closest family.

The mum-in-law was a professional seamstress for most of her working life, and her closets are brimming with beautiful clothes, most of which, unfortunately, she has shrunk to much to fill out. That´s what happens, even one´s feet become smaller, apparently. But this dress, a black lace number with a Spanish vibe (I think she made it after she started going to Spain with her partner Ove, in the late 90´s), fit perfectly. The sister-in-law helped her fix her hair, and you know, as long as she sat, you wouldn´t have guessed her age within fifteen years. She was - no competition, and I´m not exaggerating one little bit - by far the best dressed, most elegant and beautiful woman in the room. She may be old and a bit wrinkly (but don´t tell her, she is nearly blind and claims to be wrinkle-free) but that bone structure doesn´t age one bit.

I had to make this sketch of her from a photo my other sister-in-law took, just to show you an impression of what I have to hold up as a model for myself every day. I know she looks like she is facebooking, but that´s her asthma medication she is about to take, before the guests arrive. She had a surprise guest: the former mayor, who recently read and wrote about her memoir in the local paper, came to pay his respects, and I understand he made a very nice speech for her (but that was before we got there, being still young enough to have to work on a weekday...).


  1. Happy Birthday to your mum-in-law! Mother & I neither one ever had an elegant bone in our bodies, so the black lace won't be my style. It looks so good on your mum-in-law, though :)

    1. I´ll pass it on!

      I´m afraid I´ll never reach her levels of flair, either. There´s a combination there of natural beauty and confidence that I don´t think you can ever conquer consciously. Actually, I think there is competence, as well. She lived half her life in an age when you wore hat, gloves, a "promenade shoe" and a little handbag to go out of doors, all matching. To be seen without it in public would have been like being seen naked, or nearly. She never looks dishevelled, even when she is sick.

      I would have worn that dress in my 20´s, but not now. Perhaps I will again if I get to be 95? ;-)