This morning I decided to surprise my Mom and take her out to breakfast after I attended 7:30 AM Mass. Her assisted living facility is just minutes away from my church. I normally call her in advance but in reality, she doesn’t remember that we were supposed to go out so stopping there is the same as calling in advance :). This morning she was very sleepy and still in bed reading her prayer book. I had my camera with me so I quietly took it out and snapped a photo of her with the “senior hands” category challenge in the back of my mind. When I got home to process the photo, I noticed that the page that she was reading was referring to God’s hands and touch which I found very prophetic. My Mom has always been a deeply religious woman. A mother of 9 children, losing one daughter to a tragic accident and another to mental health, a two time cancer survivor, and an extremely talented artist, photographer and writer. She has been published in the New York Times twice and has many art awards and writing awards. Raising 9 children forced her to postpone most of these interests until her later years because being a wonderful mother was always her first priority. My Dad passed away 17 years ago and our family was worried about her ability to be on her own. My mother is strong and has more than proven that she is an incredible survivor. She will turn 96 on August 9th. Happy Birthday Mom and even if we didn’t get to go out to breakfast this morning we still had some quality time.