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S: Celebrating 85 Years of Life, Memories & Friendship

FC: Celebrating 85 Years of Life, Memories, & Friendship

1: ONE OF A KIND Susan, Betsy and I know Fern Barnidge simply as Mom. She fixed our meals, cleaned our clothes and served as our chauffeur to school, practices, games, horseback riding lessons and scouts. She woke us up, helped us with our homework, tested us on our spelling words and nursed us when we were sick. Plus, she reminded us to always wear clean underwear because...you know, what if we were an accident and had to be rushed to the hospital. It's not until you get older that you begin to see that mothers are also people, with hopes, dreams, and friends. And boy, does Mom have friends. She made them in the neighborhood, at church, on the golf course, through business, in school and at the club. She made them in St. Louis and in Florida. You learn a lot about people through their friends. The heartfelt emotions shared by friends were what struck us most as we flipped through the pages of this memory book commemorating her 85th birthday. Eighty-five years is an impressive run, and it usually comes at the cost of wrinkles. Mom, as you may have noticed, decided to quit aging about two decades ago. We thought all the trips to the emergency room we forced upon her years ago would have given her a few gray hairs. But she outsmarted us there, too. None of us has seen her real hair color in so long; we have no way of knowing. Mom has withstood it all. Susan fell down the basement stairs. Betsy had to have her stomach pumped. I cracked my head on the driveway when i was young and clipped off the tips of two fingers when i was older. She has handled every challenge. Of course, we've always known Mom was blessed with a competitive streak. Our experience draws from losses we suffered to her in ping-pong, lawn darts, shuffleboard, golf, gin rummy, Monopoly and bridge. She's a gracious winner, though. She always wants to play again. She is a one-of-a-kind woman, and no one knows that better than her friends, whose words and pictures can be found on the following pages. Happy 85th, Mom! --Tom

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  • By: Sue Y.
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