“This is my mother-in-law and me celebrating her 85th birthday. I will be 55 next month. I say keeping moving and have a positive attitude. Thank you for your site,” wrote Renee van der Touw.
The moment we saw the clip we had to ask Renee to tell us more about herself and her MIL.
Birthday girl Gloria, a former librarian, traveled the world, taught music, and is an expert on birds. As if that’s not enough, she’s also a modern dancer who performed in the 60s and 70s at the famous Fillmore West in California. “She used to hang with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters,” Renee said. Ed. Note: Writer Kesey wrote One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and was a wild and wooly guy tied into the psychedelic 60s.
Gloria is an independent woman who recently moved from Oregon to California to be near Renee. “I’ve been a hairstylist in Pasadena for 37 years, and since it’s hard for me to take long trips I bought a mid-century condo in Palm Springs a few years ago, where my husband and I go every other weekend,” Renee said. “Gloria bought a condo two doors down from us. She drove from Oregon by herself.”
Like her mother, Renee was diagnosed with heart disease in her late 30s and had a stent inserted when she was 44 years old. “Heart disease is the #1 killer for women, but many doctors still brush it off. I was misdiagnosed by a cardiologist, who said it was ‘just stress,’ and survived by the grace of God,” Renee said.
“I want all women to know that they should go with their gut feeling, and always get a second opinion. Like most women, I tried to do it all, but learned the hard way. I try to be an inspiration and a positive person, and to give back what I’ve learned to help others. I miss my mom, who died of heart disease, but I’m so blessed to have Gloria as my mother-in-law. She’s awesome.”
Renee’s also blessed that she married the man of her dreams two years ago. FabOverFifty wishes many years of health and happiness to Gloria, Renee, and the wonderful man who brought them together.