My aunt passed away this summer, just shy of 91. I admired her and respected her greatly.
When I was a young mom, she came to visit when my son was just a few months old.  Fussing in my arms, Ryan was inconsolable and I kept trying to coddle and comfort him. She caught my eye and emphatically stated, in her perfect New England accent,
"Put that child down. You'll arrest his development!"
I immediately laid him down on a blanket to watch him fuss a bit but eventually settle himself as he happily began to move along the floor. Rita was right. (a phrase that should be carved in stone.)

Later in the day, after listening to me complain incessantly about my boss and her foolish business practices, Rita simply said, "Why don't you just work for yourself." Her question flung open the door to the idea of self-employment and a business of my own. Eighteen years later I still happily count myself as a small business owner.

This summer I found myself absorbed with woes of too much work and not enough free time that I entertained the thought of writing a blog post titled, The Summer of My Discontent. Trust me - it would have been an exercise in self-absorbed pity

Then I attended Aunt Rita's memorial service and read the poem she had witten on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Even in life after death, my practical and accomplished Aunt was giving me just the kick-in-the-pants I needed. Thank you Aunt Rita. You are loved and missed.

Ode to Being Ninety
by Rita E. Duffy Pervier 

Ode to myself
Before I'm on the shelf
The time was sublime
With much laughter and shine
Of course some bitter, but others better
Challenging to be a "go-getter"
Each morning exciting
What unknown to unfold
A passing parade - family, friends untold
Giving love and friendship
So thank you as I speed to 91 - more fun