By the time you read this I will be visiting my mother for Christmas and celebrating her birthday. It’s not an ordinary birthday. She will be 101 on Dec. 13.

For a while now every birthday has been extraordinary, and the birth date itself a magical number — 12/13/14. Her name is Marjory Crist Lott and she and her family have a long history with the Vineyard that goes back to the 1800s. But it is her own history and resilience that bears mentioning.

She played tennis until she was 88 and still gets around pretty well, whether walking or steering the electric scooter that she powers through the hallways at the Beaumont residential community in Bryn Mawr, Pa., where she lives.

She still plays bridge, the game she began taking lessons for 55 years ago. She started at last position on the third team at her club and over the next 30 years worked her way up to the number one position on the first team. She plays the long game.

At age 90 she went parasailing in Vineyard Haven harbor after a frustrating morning the day before walking around at the Chilmark Flea Market. She got so tired that when everyone jumped out of the car to get lunch at the Chilmark Store, she could only sit in the car and cry tears of frustration.

The next day she was on the visiting slave ship Amistad with her close friend Bobbi McAlister. And when they disembarked, a robust 45-year-old urged them to come on his boat and go parasailing. Without a second’s hesitation, she turned to her friend and said, “Let’s go Bobbi!”

The startled skipper welcomed them aboard and minutes later they were high above the harbor, their feet dangling down as they swooped back and forth between the chops. The next day their picture was on the front page of the Gazette. What I love about this story is that parasailing was my mother’s response to her painful moments of the day before. She is a fighter. A little over two years ago my mother had a bad fall as her balance started to deteriorate. I got a phone call late at night from the doctor who said that she had fractured her hip and suffered a subdural hematoma and that it “was going to take her life.” She completely recovered, worked through physical therapy and was walking again months later. Her powers of recovery astonished the staff and a legend was born.

The following year she fell right after Thanksgiving and badly fractured her left arm. The X-ray showed the crossed bones of a pirate flag. She was in tremendous pain. Three weeks later she attended her 100th birthday party, staying up until 11 p.m. and welcoming 100 guests with aplomb and queenly grace.

Now more than two years after suffering the subdural hematoma, an MRI shows no trace of it and she has started going back to the library and picking out books. The newspaper is being delivered again. She still plays bridge. Thinking about this I realize that instead of getting older, she is getting younger. What a legacy she is creating and an inspiration. Merry Christmas, Mom, and Happy Birthday!

David Lott lives in Vineyard Haven.