She is small and wrinkled like a blonde raisen, with dark button eyes intense in their observation of those heads close to hers. There is a small permanent smile on the 87-year-old face. And she has shrunk again this year becoming more like a house mouse.
I move gently around her, afraid I might break that fragile frame with a bump. She moves with less care and faster than one expects through the crowd of our peers. She earned her first college degree the year I was born which intimidates me in no small way. What magic I wish I had to have seen the fire in those intense eyes when she was 20.
She also brings something tremendously delicious to each meeting. Something that tastes as if it came from an award winning European bakery. Something with chocolate and buttercream and that has more calories than she carries in that tiny body, and yet, she dares to call herself a nutritionist!
She approaches me with a miniscule frown between her brows and takes a deep breath before she thrusts the paper beneath my nose and begins her questions and critical comments and barely waits for my response to each. Then without pause she turns toward her next victim and throws a smile over her shoulder as she comments, "Well, just so you understand for next time!" and she shuffles on. I would lose in a debate with her hands down.
She has three beautiful daughters who are leaders in their own great generations and all stand a head above her as if they were well-selected hybrids of her gene pool. Had she been born in Germany during the great war, her gene pool would have been ended on her way to synagogue. None of us would have felt her ripples on the water of the community she graces.
Last week she won a prestigious award for the giving of her time. Her mother and grandmother lived to 103, so she is not done yet!