Still looking forward…

// September 8th, 2011 // aging, musings

Getting older is weird. As we barrel through our 20s and 30s we know that it’s going to happen, but later. Much…much later. For the time being there’s so much to do {getting our careers on track, concentrating on our growing families, finishing an education} and we are perfectly distracted from the inevitable.
Then a certain zero birthday comes, or the youngest graduates high school, or maybe it’s that un-namable ache deep in your joints and you realize that the image in the bathroom mirror betrays the one you see behind closed eyes. When I hit my 50s my Grandma Toll’s words came back to me. “When I close my eyes, I’m the same girl I was at 21.” I loved my grandma and greatly respected her wisdom and folksy advice, but I was 23 at the time and what she said just didn’t make sense to me. I naturally assumed that I would feel the passing years in my mind as much as in my body.
I recently turned 58 and I now know exactly what Grandma meant. I know that the juxtaposition of the face I see in the mirror and the face I “see” when I close my eyes is exactly what Grandma felt. I have carried with me into my “Golden Years” the mind and personality I carried at 21, yet it has been tempered by the years of learning, growing, compensating, observing, and compromise.
I am not a scholar. I am not a sage. I am Wife, Mom, and Grandma. During my nearly six decades I have made countless mistakes and learned a thing or two along the way about that life that I’d like to share.
My husband Dave and I raised five kids, and welcomed their spouses into the family. When we lost our oldest to diabetes at thirty-one, we spiritually adopted his widow as our daughter and now consider her husband our son-in-law. We have 13 grandchildren {so far} and have been blessed to be an active part of their lives.
And although I find that, as Captain Jean Luc Picard once said, “There are fewer days ahead than there are behind”, I find that I am
Still looking forward…

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