My mother, Mary Elizabeth Woods Lightfoot, was born on December 29, 1913. This is one of my favorite memories of spending time with her in the waning years of her life. I tried to do this in 100 words, but just couldn’t make it work. Here are 200 words in honor:
I am a huge believer in the once-in-a-lifetime experience. One such experience I had with my mother. Mom was 90 years old. It was a bitter cold February day. I made the five hour drive from Washington, DC to Long Island. She had no idea where I was taking her, but she was game for the experience. She didn’t know who Christo was.
I bundled her up, put her in the car, drove to the West Side of New York City, parked the car, put her in her wheelchair and off we went! The park was so crowded it looked like a summer day. We walked through The Gates, those saffron sheets billowing in the harsh, frigid wind. We strolled with the festive masses and we loved it. Again, Mom had no idea exactly what this was we were experiencing but she loved it nonetheless. She was with me, she was out of her dull life, she was in the world and, most of all, she was alive.
Mom died at the age of 96. She passed away of old age, I think. I still miss her. When I think of her, she is with me at The Gates—alive.