Watch this woman.
See how she comes in with the sun on her face, every wrinkle is a mark made by golden drops, each line a story of a time she laughed, stories she probably can't remember but will try to tell anyway.
See those hips and how they sway. Those hips are strong enough to carry centuries of culture, and she's closer to a hundred than she is to fifty, but if you ask about her dancing days you'll see those hips still know exactly where they're supposed to be. Believe me, I've asked. That afternoon, we spent a good hour twirling our wrists to invisible Spanish-sounding guitars, feet darting across imaginary bamboo poles, gracefully closing the gaps between generations. I wonder if this is what she'd like to do in eternity.
Watch this woman.
See her hands, how they are always so full yet also always so empty. What she's holding never stays with her for long. This is how she loves. Her hands know nothing else but to love. Her hands love me when they pack my favorite food into plastic Tupperware for me to take home, her hands love me when they do their magic mending on the rips and tears in my clothes, her hands love me when they insist on doing dishes so I don't have to, her hands love me when they show me which ingredients to pour into a bowl so I can have her bread pudding anytime. This woman's hands could feed armies and she does it like everyday's tomorrow is a final battle.
See her eyes, how God must have placed diamonds instead when He made them. See how they twinkle whenever someone she loves enters the room, how they glitter whenever someone she loves speaks. See how clear are the tears that so easily flow from them, how all it takes is a single tug at her heart for it to become a spring. See how pride gleams from them whenever she travels miles north to watch this woman.
And Lola, this woman wants you to know that she watches you. And she sees you and her love for you often leaves her without words, except right now. And this woman wishes she's got numberless days left to watch you, but for now she says let's keep watching each other, until the day comes we are both dancing before the face of eternity.
Happy 80th birthday, Lola Sony. Your bones are strong but your heart is stronger.