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Neena Strichart/Signal TribuneMom sitting in the garden at Bixby Knolls Towers

Neena Strichart/Signal Tribune
Mom sitting in the garden at Bixby Knolls Towers

by Neena Strichart

Yesterday was a very special day for our family. It was my mother’s 94th birthday. With a formula that includes clean living, a witty sense of humor, a bit of luck and fabulous genes, as well as a brilliant oncologist (Dr. Robert Nagourney) my mother, Marjorie Grommé has put together the ingredients for a long, healthy and very fulfilling life.
She started her life as a farm girl, was one of the real Rosie the Riveters during the war, was married and widowed four times, served as Signal Hill City Treasurer, was named Signal Hill’s Outstanding Older American in 1994 and has been a member of the Susan B. Anthony Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution for more than 50 years.
As her only child, I have been extremely fortunate to have mostly had her all to myself through the years, although I have happily shared her with my wonderful stepbrothers Jay and Michael Grommé and their kids/grandkids.
My mom has always been my confidant and best critic/audience. As I have grown older I am proud to say that I also consider her to be my best friend. She can say more with a raised eyebrow and a wry smile than most people could say with a thousand words. Her looking at me over the top of her tri-focals still makes me a bit nervous, as that is her signal to me of her silent disapproval, or at least of her pretending to be unhappy with me. Fortunately for me, I can still get a rise out of her, and I have to admit sometimes I do it on purpose. Why? Let’s just say I still like to get attention from my mom— good or bad!
For Mom’s birthday 10 years ago, I wrote a little poem and made it into a mouse pad for her to keep by her computer. The sentiment still remains. Happy birthday, Mommy.

As I get older and begin to gauge
how I appear at middle age.
It seems to me, I’m my mother’s child
we’re both even-tempered, not easily riled.
One thing stands out and is quite clear,
we sure look alike when viewed from the rear.

By Neena Posner Strichart/2003

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Serving Bixby Knolls, California Heights, Los Cerritos, Wrigley and Signal Hill
Thoughts from the Publisher