Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Lady Named Sally

When I was about five years old, my father invited one of his clients to visit our home. My father was a criminal defense lawyer, and to this day I cannot imagine what crime she might have committed because she was a beautiful, charming, one hundred-year old lady with cumulus cloud hair and a radiant smile.

She bent down to look into my eyes and said, "Call me Sally." Then she took my hand and said, "Show me your room. Show me everything," and sprinted up the stairs, pulling me behind her.

I think at that point, the course of my life was set. I wanted to grow up to be just like Sally.

Today is my birthday. I am not 100 years old yet, but I am well on my way and with a great deal of luck I will reach Sallyhood one day. In the meantime, I remember her bright spirit and still aspire to be like her.

I never saw Sally again, but it's safe to assume that she is no longer passing out joy like lollipops to little children.

Rest in peace, Sally.

Live in peace, my friends.


the walking man said...

And may your journey continue to prosper in wise thought and fun. Good birthday to you!

Sienna said...


...and happy birthday again from Australian time, you get two birthdays you know.

Sally reminds me of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch...(Rupert's Mum), a devoted Philanthropist and
compassionate woman works tirelessly for animals, children, mental illness foundations and anyone less fortunate for that matter..she is 99yo will turn 100 in Feb 2009

I love listening to her speak, she shares inspiration, love and wisdom and empathy, kindness!, these sort of people just grab you in the heart..

Have a great day mate.

Odat said...

Happy Birthday! Enjoy, pamper yourself and relax!

Artful Kisser said...

Happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Heart.

Dare I say, you are no Sally, but uniquely Susan. I sense you share a great deal with a woman who is "beautiful, charming, and radiant" who wants to see everything. Your posts, your words always have great scope, great breath, and yet with such humility, such real emotional discovery.

I think Sally would have been proud of who Susan became, as would Adolf.

comfortandjoy said...


When I read what you write, you take my hand and say, "I'll show you everything. I'll tell you a story. Look at the world, how beautiful and strange!"

I aspire to be like you.

Happy Birthday.


furiousBall said...

Happy Birthday amiga, and I agree Sally would like who Susan is today

WNG said...

I am very glad that you were born, dear Heart. Glad and grateful.
Have a blessed year.

Craze said...

They say people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Sally was sent for a reason. Happy Birthday!

thailandchani said...

Happy birthday! :)

Ian Lidster said...

Happy birthday, dear friend. And there's more Sally in you than you might always think. The world needs many Sallys of both sexes.

daysgoby said...

Happy, Happy Birthday!

Tanya Brown said...

Happy birthday!

May you have many more! I get great pleasure from reading your thoughtful posts.

On a limb with Claudia said...

I am so very delighted that you were born. I blessed by your presence on this planet. Thank you for hanging in there so we could all meet and see your glorious beauty!

Happy Birthday!

RED MOJO said...

Susan, Your life may be like Sally-magnified. You reach so many with your funny, inspiring and heart-felt posts, and comments. Thank you for being born! That was a glorious day!

Anonymous said...

A very happy birthday to you, Heart! I think you and Sally are kindred spirits.

stephen t said...

Happy birthday, my friend. You may not surpass Sally in years on the planet, but you know how to pass around joy.

Nick said...

Funny how we can be so influenced as children by a significant other like Sally. I was very much influenced by my first English teacher and also my maternal grandma. I'll never forget the way they inspired me to make more of myself.

Have a great birthday!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Happy Birthday Hearts!

Um... sounds like she is still passing out joy to you and now to all of us... just in another form.

What a wonderful lady... I love that, show me *everything*... that's like magic to a child, isn't it? Someone who wants to know all about them?

So glad she lit your heart like that, and thank you for lighting all of ours, continually.

I hope that this day finds your wishes fulfilled and new dreams made for this coming year of yours.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

meno said...

I am going to imagine that she robbed a bank and threw all the money from the top of the tallest building around.

That's what i'd do.

Lex said...

Happy Birthday, Love!

I hope to see you at my 100th birthday party!

meggie said...

Happy Birthday.
My daughter knows an amazing 100 year old lady too. Who is much like Sally!

the walking man said...

Hearts in a pandering bid for promotion...

Black White and Blue in Detroit


in poetry

The iconography of the book is one post down from that one.

Thanks for coming over, it humbles me when someone likes the simple words I write.


seventh sister said...

Happy Day!!!!! I may be a day late for your actual birthday. I wa kinda busy yesterday.

PeterAtLarge said...

Nice story. I hope Sally's crime was a delirious one, and that she has been suitably rewarded for it, wherever she may be. What a wonderful life lesson you carry with you to this day! A belated Happy Birthday!

jameil1922 said...

awww! too bad i missed it! happy belated!!!!

Molly said...

Happy Birthday Heart! Isn't it amazing how a brief encounter with a memorable person affects us for the rest of our lives? I hope Sally is resting in peace somewhere heavenly, perhaps where roses like those beauties you posted grow....

Josie said...

Happy Birthday, Hearts! Somehow I can see you in years to come, with white hair billowing around you, giving lollipops to little kids. And some day a little kid will do a post about you!

All the best!


heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm looking forward to it. Thanks so much.


TWO birthdays! I love it, as long as I only age one year, of course.


Pamper. You've said the magic word. I'm starting right now.


Many thanks!


Awww, now I'm blushing. But in a GOOD way.

How lovely that you remembered Adolf, too. He's been gone exactly a year and I still miss him.


I think you should aspire to stay exactly as you are because you have one of those perfect things going on.

I really love your way with words.


Big smile here, amigo. Besides, we'll never know, will we? I love a safe bet.


It's looking really good right now with all these delightful people wishing me well. But please, don't let me interfere. I would never forgive myself.


I believe she was. Even at five, I knew that 100 was very, very unusually old and she made me realize that it didn't have to be the end of joy.


Thank you, my good friend.


She was an amazing person. I think she might have been tiny but she had a huge glowing aura.


Thank you many times.


How wonderful of you to say that. I really appreciate it.


You've all made me feel positively cherished and it's so lovely. I am filled with gratitude for this amazing community which is so very real despite its virtual setting.


I'm very happy that I was born, too. I wouldn't have had it any other way.


I certainly hope so. She was a charmer.


You are the sweetest man, and not just because you introduced Flip and me (and play a mean guitar.)


I did. And isn't it wonderful to think of someone who came into our lives so briefly and so long ago, but who made such a big impression?


Such beautiful thoughts you have, and also the courage to express them.

Thank you.


Well, I'm glad we cleared that up. Maybe she was a gun moll or the James Gang's mama.


I hope to be there too, love. Even if they have to carry me in on a gurney.


How wonderful for them both!


Thank you for the info. I will definitely check it out because I love what I've read so far.


You're always just in time.

Is there a post about your busy day yesterday? I'll come see in a minute.


Good and kind wishes are always timely and matter so much more than the date.

Sally was quite enchanting and I think I've always carried the image of old age as a beautiful time because of her.


Come on in anyway. There's still some cake.


She looked like a white rose, so that's what she got.

It always astonishes me how impressions from so long ago don't get crowded out by more recent data, but instead take root and grow blooms year after year.


I would love that, including the white hair. Sally is as Sally does, I think, and we should all give sweetness (though not necessarily sweets) to children.

Angela said...

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Lady! I think you probably passed Sally up years ago. {{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thank you for the beautiful words and birthday hugs.

Mariposa said...

Belated happy birthday Hearts!

Wish you all the best...

velvet said...

Belated Happy Birthday!!!

Hope it was a good one. :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Mariposa and Velvet,

Blogger isn't sending me emails with comments anymore.

Thank you both so much. Birthday wishes are always timely.