My Mom turns 89 years young today! It’s great to see how she continues to ask questions, learn, laugh, and seek out the fun things of life. She’s slowed down, of course. But she still has purpose, she still has joy. What a blessing.
Last Sunday D’Aun and I took Mom to Washington DC for a four day visit. It was an amazing journey filled with wonderful experiences. At least one of Mom’s forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence, she had another who was an officer in the War of 1812, and she had countless family members who fought in the Civil War. Her own great grandfather was a victim at Shiloh.
Mom and D’Aun near the Capitol
My point is that Mom is as American as one can be for a family heritage that arrived in the mid 1600′s. So a visit to Washington DC had special meaning.
Here is a quick list of things that we did together:
- We took Virgin American Flight #1 from San Francisco to Reagan National. It was a treat for my Mom to sit in first class.
- We stayed at The Jefferson Hotel, a few blocks from the White House. It was the military headquarters for Great Britain during World War II and had classic English style. Friend and former colleague Philip Wood is the Managing Director of the hotel, and it was fun to reconnect with him. His dapper English style charmed Mom immensely.
- We dined at a variety of places: Logan Tavern, Old Ebbitt Grill, The Hamilton, Le Pain (Alexandria), and others.
- A congressional aide gave us a tour of the Capitol, we walked through the National Botanical Garden, we admired the FDR Memorial, and we perused the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
- A main purpose of the trip was visiting the World War II Memorial. Mom often thought of December 7, 1941. She was a senior in High School then. She remembers going to school on the 8th and seeing the look of concern on the boys faces. They were all drafted and some did not come home. My Dad was stationed in the South Pacific, and Mom was a Rosie on the home front making tubes for airplanes. So World War II was a significant part of her life. It was great for the Ranger to honor her with a private tour. Despite the cold, Mom loved the experience.
Mom with me at the World War II Memorial
- Since I was with two Goble women, we had to go shopping. A visit to Macy’s supplemented several gift shops!
- Perhaps the biggest surprise happened on our visit to Mt. Vernon. Our guide Ismail (who is highly recommended) arranged for John Marshall to give us a tour. John is the head of Guest Relations at Mt. Vernon and he treated Mom like royalty. The highlight was when Mom was given the honor of entering the crypt where George Washington is buried so she could set a wreath by his grave. The rest of the tourists were abuzz, asking, “Who is this woman?” For a few moments Mom was a celebrity! Here’s a link to the video.
- At various times we drove through Alexandria, around the Pentagon, through Georgetown, over to the Iwo Jima statue, through Embassy Row, and past Georgetown University.
- We visited the American History Museum and saw the Star Spangled Banner flag, the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and the Library of Congress to see the Gutenberg Bible.
- Another surprise was a visit to Hillwood Estate, a stunning home filled with priceless treasures. The surrounding gardens were gorgeous.
With Congressman Swalwell
- Mom also had the chance to meet two Congressmen and tell her stories. It was fun to meet our new representative, Eric Swalwell, and learn about many common friends (for instance, his office manager is a Westmont alum).
Throughout it all we laughed, told stories, and remembered how great it is to live in this country. We joked about planning two meals ahead, bumped Mom’s wheelchair across dozens of cobblestone roads, and met amazingly gracious people.
Thank you, Mom, for being an incredible trooper at 89-years young. You kept pace with it all and were always in great spirits. It’s an honor to call you Mom. Happy Birthday!