Tim, Thank you for so eloquently and personally speaking to a number of issues within each of us.
The gratitude you express for your mom in this very public forum is touching and reminds us to reach out and see the "everyday happenings" as great and helpful gifts that spur us forward on our own journeys.
For transitions-of-life to be as smooth and educationally powerful as possible, we must be accepting, willing, trust-filled and, most certainly, resilient. Your mom possesses all four of those precious qualities. She clearly shows her enthusiasm to "be in the moment" and to do her best where ever that "moment" takes her. She lives life as the colossally wonderful adventure I believe it is.
Please tell her "Hi!" for me and give her my best regards. Wouldn't I love to have a cup of coffee with her! Maybe someday. . . Cyndie Ulrich, Redmond, WA