This week I had the honor of attending a party for the 91st birthday of Ann, a very special lady who always reminds me of what’s really important in life.
Ann is from New York, the daughter of Italian immigrants. Ann is short for Antoinette because she had a French grandmother. She still lives in the same house she and her husband bought decades ago. Sadly this year, after 69 years of marriage, she lost her husband Tony. My parents were married 62 years, I can only imagine what an incredible adjustment that must be.
Ann’s daughter, my friend Mary Ann, hosted the birthday party this week and invited several friends in Atlanta who’ve gotten to know Ann over the years. As she visits Atlanta frequently from New York, we get to see Ann often and it doesn’t take us long to catch up.
We were specifically instructed NOT to bring any birthday gifts to the party. But then as we arrived, the ladies were all surprised with a gift from Ann to each of us, which again clues you in as to how special she is.
This photo is of Ann with me and my daughter J. Morgan a few years ago. She has always taken a special interest in Morgan and her art, and every time I see Ann she never fails to ask me for an update on Morgan and her life.
I’ve always enjoyed being around people who are up front and “tell it like it is.” I can always count on Ann to do just that because she is spunky, spirited and funny. She speaks her mind and doesn’t hold back. Her honesty inspires me. She impresses the hell out of me with her willingness to get on an airplane any time and GO. She wasted no time getting out on the dance floor during her party and showing us that she still has some moves. When I complimented her on the dancing, she leaned over and told me “Yes, I can still shake my booty.”
Those of you who still have your parents are so, so lucky. If they’re still shaking their booties, you’re even luckier. So here’s to Ann, Happy 91st Birthday! I’m honored to know you and count you as a friend. And here’s to still traveling at 91!