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Ninety

Updated on January 23, 2012
AudreyHowitt profile image

Audrey is a poet, classical singer and voice teacher, recovering attorney and licensed psychotherapist.

Daniel Elwas
Daniel Elwas | Source


Ninety

How can I measure a life?

How does one value the acts

of one loved by so many?

Is that what I must do—


Or may I just celebrate?

Celebrate the laughter

and wit with which you have graced us all.


Celebrate the love you tender

to the least of us

on our worst of days.


Celebrate the family

you raised

which now inhabits my days

and which encircles my heart.


Celebrate all of you in your 90 years--


The parts I know and see

and the parts you hold close

in silence.


Can I cry as well,

for those who would be here, but aren’t?

Is there room for that?

The tears of sadness,

of love

now float in the same universe

traversed by us all.


May I reflect

for just a moment?

And in that moment,

hold out my heart to you—


For your presence here

has graced us all.

And if your God is gracious to us,

you will continue to guide,

to love,

and grace the lives around you

for years to come.

L’chiam!

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2012


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    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you the lyricwriter!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Voted up, awesome, and beautiful Audrey. This was deep on so many levels. Bless your tender caring heart my friend.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Sheila!!

    • sheilanewton profile image

      sheilanewton 5 years ago from North Shields, UK

      Oh, wow! What a wonderful tribute to your mum-in-law. I hope I'm worthy of such things said about me if I ever reach that grand old age.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Hi Phoebe--thank you for stopping in--much appreciated!

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 5 years ago

      You have an incredible talent! I am so glad that I happened upon your wonderful work. It made my day. ^_^

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you LadyFiddler!

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 5 years ago from On planet Earth

      very lovely :)

      thanks

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Lady_E!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 5 years ago from London, UK

      Beautiful and Awesome to read - I was thinking you wrote it for your mum or Dad, then noted in comments who it was for.

      Wow... she is blessed. Those are golden years.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Hi Ann! Thank you! She is a delight!

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Mom's are easy to write about. Their life is instruction and example. Your tribute is delightful.

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Mom's are easy to write about. Their life is instruction and example. Your tribute is delightful.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you so much phdast and donnaisabella--for both the read and thoughtful comments-- I think valuing older people is important--but the elderly must also value themselves enough to stay connected with life in meaningful ways---for instance, my mother-in-law still teaches piano and is quite active in her church community--it counts for a lot!

    • donnaisabella profile image

      Donaisabella 5 years ago from Fort Myers

      Oh Audrey, you write with so much feeling and understanding,it is beautiful. It makes me stop and reflect on those around us who have done so much, whom we may even wrongly consider of not much significance. That is not my view but what I see a lot of times in the society around me. Older people whose diminished role in the family does not seem to matter to anyone because we stopped listening to or respecting them. I think of my great grand parents, long gone, but once so old and precious to me. Thanks for writing. ( I just had to comment again).

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Audrey - This was quite wonderful, an incredible tribute to your mother-in-law and to all of our parents and grandparents who have meant so much to us. I sit here typing through my tears, but that is OK. That is a good thing. Thank you for sharing this with us. Theresa

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you again Nell Rose!! It was fun!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, what a beautiful poem for your mother in law, such a great age, and to still have them surrounded by their loving family, wonderful!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      She is truly an amazing woman--full of life and love--and even though she has had her fair share of loss, she looks forward to each day with gratitude--

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      She has been so blessed, if we only knew if there was an answer for this. Many women I see out and about so old and shopping and driving and it simply amazes me. We are really seeing a new thing.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      I so agree!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      I think we must celebrate sorrow, and understand suffering and happiness are two faces of a coin.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you John, alocsin and Frank! Lots of celebrating on this end of town right now!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      what a wonderful way to express 90.. an amzazing number in life.. Audrey super poem :)

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Glad you clarified that it was your mother-in-law reaching this august age. You didn't seem that old. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Very beautiful. We all know and love elderly people whom we know won't always be around...

      Voted up

      John

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Kevin and Dim, and raciniaw and Ruchira and Jamie--it is a good day today!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 5 years ago from Reno NV

      Thank you for sharing this poem and the everything surrounding it. I love it as always, Jamie

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Happy Birthday Audrey!

      Wishing you lots more years of happiness & contentment!

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 5 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      wow, a lovely poem...your mother in law must be proud...

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

      What an awesome tribute to your mother in law. May she live many. many more years.

      Your writing is beautiful. Thank you and take care.

      Dim

    • Arren123 profile image

      Arren123 5 years ago from UK

      That's so Beautiful Audrey, happy birthday to your mother-in-law. voted up :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Happy Birthday to your MIL and Happy Birthday to YOU also!:)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Sueswan!

    • profile image

      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Hi Audrey,

      "May I reflect

      for just a moment?

      And in that moment,

      hold out my heart to you"

      This is such a beautiful tribute to your mother-in-law.

      Please wish her a Happy 90th!

      Voted up and away.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Sage!

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 5 years ago

      A brilliantly rich composition, with a classical flow, filled with tenderness and reflections like a sonnet from the heart. A Genuine Masterpiece!

      Sage

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      It is really all her---she has the most positive outlook that I have ever seen--thank you so much for reading about her!

    • shimmering Dawn profile image

      shimmering Dawn 5 years ago

      What a tribute Audrey! I am so impressed by your mom- in- law and you... the bond you share and her tenacity and love to teach.. Amazing!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you donnaisabella and Movie Master!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      A beautiful poem Audrey, happy birthday to your mother in law.

      Voted up and beautiful.

    • donnaisabella profile image

      Donaisabella 5 years ago from Fort Myers

      This is beautiful, reminds me of a similar piece I wrote. I think I should put it up on my hub (I have always been too shy to share my poetry over the past 22 years). Thank you I should be reading more of your poetry. It is beautiful.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you poetix!

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      This is such a lovely and moving tribute to your mother-in-law. Elderly people are the best and it's so nice to see someone appreciate one of them. God bless.

    • Drtruthman profile image

      Drtruthman 5 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Beautiful and heartfelt. Good job. I voted UP, beautiful, awesome and interesting.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you anglnwu! My husband is composing a piano/flute duet for her to play with her daughter--It should be quite a celebration!

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 5 years ago

      Lovely tribute to your mother-in-law. What a life--she must be really amazing, still teaching piano at ninety. Love the lines:

      May I reflect

      for just a moment?

      And in that moment,

      hold out my heart to you—

      Beautiful poem, your mother-in-law must be so proud of you. Rated up and L'chaim!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Wow...good to hear about your mother-in-law's birthday.

      wishing her lots of happiness and joy!

      You are a special daughter-in-law celebrating her special day by writing this beautiful poem!

      voted up as beautiful

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Eddy!! Enjoy your day--stay warm---

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      It will be a wonderful celebration--she is a wonderfully alive and vibrant person! Thank you so much always exploring!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      So wonderful to write beautiful words to one who is aging, but still alive to see your love..Thank you..

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      This is truly beauitufl Audrey and thank you so much for sharing.

      Written in your own natural style which has become so popular on here.

      Take care my friend and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Debbie, billybuc and PDX!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      audrey... you are such a wonderful poet

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beautifully written; thank you for sharing such personal feelings and ultimately love.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      You are very good with words and the poem so beautiful...

      Your mom will love this poem.. I wish I would have wrote one for my mom before she past. I waited to long. Yours is beautiful

      Blessing to you

      Debbie

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you writer20--and congrats to your mom!!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      My mother is 93 and still strong mentally and health.Your poem is so beautiful. Voted up, awesome and beauitful.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Sunnie Day--we are all looking forward to the celebration! This is my gift to her--

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 5 years ago

      A heartfelt Happy Birthday to your sweet mother in law..how wonderful to be 90 and have the love of family who loves her so..Your poem was beautiful!

      Sunnie

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Vincent--my mother-in-law will be 90 this weekend! And she still teaches piano!

    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 5 years ago

      Beautifully worded Audrey. To live till 90 and beyond is certainly a blessing. More of us are living longer, the advancements in medicine and technology will allow many more to live longer lives and healthier as well. I enjoyed your piece, voted Up.