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“Paving Stones” by Ron Friedman

Paving Stones

by Ron Friedman

Written 16 November, 2020


My mother and I loved
Eating a simple lunch occasionally
At our local botanical garden
Where she had her 75th and 100th birthday brunches.
It has a beautiful dining room
And the food is good.
Our gardens are as beautiful as theirs,
But much smaller.

At my 70th birthday party,
When she was 100,
One of the things she said to me in
Her prepared remarks to the 120 guests was:
“You won’t appreciate just how very young 70 is
Until you are 100.”
And everyone laughed,
Valued that point of view
And remembered that remark.

After my birthday
I ordered two engraved paving stones
To be placed in a garden pathway
In that public garden
To commemorate our respective special birthdays
Five months apart.

Shortly after I got notice that they had been installed
I took Mom to lunch
And afterwards, we walked around the garden.
Reaching the bluestone pavers, I stopped,
Expressed mock surprise,
And said to her: “Wow. Look at this.”
She bent down and read the pavers,
Then straightened up,
Took me in her arms, hugged me tightly,
Looked me I’m the eye,
And said
“This was a good idea;
It will be comfort to you when I am gone.”

And it is.