On March 20, 1930, Agnes Catherine Neal, the matriarch of our Columbus Webner clan, made her squalling debut into the world in Akron, Ohio. Today, she celebrates her 83rd birthday — and also a new chapter in a long life well lived.
The last year has not been easy for her. Several months ago, Mom had a severe stroke. Fortunately, my sister was present when it happened, recognized that a stroke was occurring, and got Mom to the hospital for immediate care and treatment. Still, the stroke had devastating consequences, leaving Mom’s left side weak and non-responsive.
Since she left the hospital, Mom has been in a rehabilitation facility, following that winding road to recovery that is different for every person who must follow it. She has worked to reacquire the trunk, leg, and arm strength to sit upright, pivot, put her feet on the floor, and get out of bed, to use a walker, and to do what most of us do without a second thought. She has made real and encouraging progress, and we will keep following that winding road to see where it leads us.
Earlier this week, Mom moved into a new place where she can live more independently but with plenty of people nearby to help her when she needs it. It’s a snug little spot that fits her well. She’s back in her favorite chair, surrounded by her furniture, her family photographs, and other comforts of home. This afternoon we all will gather there, to sing Happy Birthday and eat some pizza and cake and mark the occasion.
Happy birthday, Mom! We love you, and we’re proud of you!