I will always remember my mom’s energy and spirit, hoping I can duplicate it.

I draw my energy from . . . my mom!

I wouldn’t say that I was a mommy’s boy growing up, but for most of us growing up as teenagers in the ‘70s and ‘80s, it was certainly easier to approach our mother than our father. Dads, for the most part, were the disciplinarians. As I grew into adulthood, I learned to appreciate my dad more and we grew closer together. He has since passed.

But, back to my mom. She was always there for us – and there were six of us – providing, feeding, guiding, giving to us before herself and loving us without judgement.

During her lifetime, my mom has faced a lot of challenges and seen her share or tragedy. In the past years she has lost her husband of over 50 years and her eldest son – both to cancer.

I watched a woman grieve briefly, but then miraculously she became stronger. At 78, she lives in the same house we grew up in and manages all aspects of home ownership: mowing the lawn, gardening, snow clearing, fixing broken fences and painting the entire house exterior. She asks for help once in a while, but basically enjoys doing everything on her own.

The most amazing thing about my mom is that she always has a smile. She looks at things on the bright side, offers incredible advice, loves her family, friends, children and grandchildren. When I’m not feeling particularly well about certain things, I can always count on her to lift my spirits and give me the kick in the butt I need.

She is the epitome of an active senior. As I grow older, I will always remember my mom’s energy and spirit, hoping I can duplicate it.

– Paul, chef, business owner, passionate San Francisco 49’er fan and wine lover