By Lorraine Duffy Merkl
About Lorraine Duffy Merkl:
Author of the novel, Fat Chick and a freelance journalist, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Lorraine Duffy Merkl lives and breathes her role as attentive mom and daughter perched inside The Sandwich Generation.
What’s that saying about not getting older, but getting better?
According to a survey from ABC News and People magazine, “I Love Lucy” was voted the best TV show of all time. Lucille Ball, who has been dead for 23 years, would be 101 today. Yet the most famous redhead of all is still showing what’s what to her younger counterparts currently reigning in comedy, like the Kathy Griffins, Chelsea Handlers or Whitney Cummings of the entertainment world.
I couldn’t help but see the parallel to my mother and myself in this story. In a month, she will be 90, and can still best me every time.
My mother lived an interesting life before I was born, and after I arrived, it became a hard one. She was a single, working mother before such a status was accepted by society. She has forgotten more about how life works than I will probably ever know.
For a long time, however, I wouldn’t give her credit for knowing anything. You see, when I was a young woman, I knew everything. Compared to me, she was un-modern. If I had a dollar for each time I uttered, “You don’t get how things are now,” I could give millions back to her as an apology.
Of course, what goes around comes around.
My mother once said, “I hope you have ten daughters just like you.” I don’t need ten; one is quite enough. From my Meg, who is 14, I hear those familiar words about my ignorance on what seems like a daily basis. It’s funny -- I went from knowing everything in my 20s, to knowing nothing in my 50s, if her assertions are true.
But they are not. Although I will probably never be as wise as my mother, I have been around the block enough times to hold my own. Neither Meg, nor even her 17-year-old brother, Luke, will most likely give me credit for it though -- until they are old enough to know better.
People do get older, and stay as good as they ever were. Sometimes though it takes those around them a lifetime to appreciate it.