With a 50th birthday behind me, I find myself thinking about how my life is turning out; what I’ve accomplished and what is to come. Through this I realized one day I am reliving the lifestyle of my grandmother. My grandmother spent the majority of her life as an independent single woman. She divorced when my mom was just 18 and at that time divorce was rare and frowned upon. Single women had less opportunity but my grandmother worked very hard to provide for herself and my mom, working long hours as a waitress; eventually managing all the other wait staff. I believe my work ethic dates back to the days she would bring me to work with her after sleep overs at her apartment and pay me to fill the cream and sugar bowls at each station. I learned early on that anything I wanted in life I would have to earn and provide for myself. I am thankful for that lesson. Through her work she was admired, respected and had more friends than anyone I’ve ever known. Her customers and co-workers were an extension of her own family and made her feel very loved and fulfilled. At holiday time I remember she had a double set of louver doors in her entryway that would be covered from ceiling to floor with photos and cards of families – some more than one generation. I always wondered “who the heck are all these people with their kids” addressing MY grandma as “Gramma Lucy”. Her charm and charisma were infectious. She was quick witted with a colorful sense of humor. I too am blessed with this gift and abundance; childhood friendships that have withstood the test of times; and their families who love me as their own. In all the time I spent with my grandma I can’t recall a time she was angry or unhappy, except as she aged if we didn’t see her often enough. Her last evening here on earth was spent at a party. Laughing and enjoying time with her friends, just as she always did. I can only hope that in the days ahead of me I too will continue to be proud of my diligence to learn and grow and to reap the rewards of a hard day’s work. And that I continue to earn, much like my Grandma, the unconditional support and joy of friendship. Thank you Lucy for setting the stage for me and for all the single ladies you have influenced through the years!