Mamma Mia!

Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.

– William James

Mom on Whistler's zipline

Mom on a zipline in Whistler, B.C.

When I asked my mother if she wanted to go to Italy on very short notice, I knew she would say yes. One doesn’t issue half-hearted invitations a woman who has lived more than 80 years unafraid of life. If she’s afraid of anything, it’s that her life will end before she’s had enough excitement. She doesn’t want to miss anything.


Mom in an outrigger canoe in Hawaii

Her habit of finding excitement in unlikely places mortified me as a teenager. As if anonymity would shield me from the slings and arrows of adolescence, I wanted nothing more than to be unremarkable. I yearned for a normal life that would be spectacularly unworthy of note. And there I was, plagued by a remarkable mother who was not afraid of life. It was my curse.

If I could tell my teenaged self anything, it would be this: calm down. You can’t imagine how fast the years are about to spin away. Long before you’re ready for it, you’re going to find yourself middle-aged and hoping you inherited some of her spunk.

And so it is that Mom, who still doesn’t act her age, and the middle-aged me trying to live life as fearlessly as she, are going to Benano next month. I’ll keep you posted.



11 Comments on “Mamma Mia!

  1. What a lovely tribute to a life well-lived and a woman well-loved by her daughter. Thank you for sharing her gioia di vivere, Karen!

  2. I love this post KS! Oh my heartstrings.
    If there is one thing I regret in life, it is not having traveled to Italy with my mom.
    Cherish every second with her. Suck in that energy and spirit.
    Too bad the logistics make it difficult for me to “pop in” for coffee.

  3. I love this. such great advice. i hope to be her someday…embracing every minute out of life and loving it! thank you for sharing!

  4. LOVE IT!! My teenage daughter groans when she hears me hatch a new plan (the latest is triathlons) but I hope one day she’ll join me on adventures as well! Have a wonderful time!

  5. Joan, you inspire us all! Bien viaje! Waiting to read of your adventures.

  6. Pingback: The Passport Gods Giveth … and the Passport Gods Can Taketh Away | Postcards from Umbria

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