As most of you know, I occasionally write for our local paper, The Murfreesboro Post. I'm a "guest columnist." The editor, Mike Pirtle, is a friend who is like family. He enjoys my writing and encourages me to write, in spite of the fact that he continually has space issues.

I felt inspired to write something yesterday and Mike is going to try to get it into print before Christmas. So you might also see it in The Post before the end of the year. But I thought I would share it on my blog. I began with an idea for a humorous piece. I wound up speaking from the heart on a more serious note. Somehow, it all came together in a theme. I hope you enjoy it.


My all time favorite birthday greeting card goes something like this:
Remember when we used to laugh at old people?
What was so d*** funny?

I love this card because I find myself at exactly that point in life when you stop laughing. I was telling my son yesterday, who is about to turn 30, how young 30 looks to me now. My mother-in-law assures me 48 will one day look just as young. She is a very youthful 75.

The other night, I was sitting on the sofa with my laptop, legs propped up on the coffee table. I guess I sat that way too long because when I stood up, I could barely walk for several minutes. I don’t mean I was a little stiff. I could hardly bend my legs! It was scary-stiff!

I remember wondering why little old ladies couldn’t get their make up on properly or why they had stopped plucking their eyebrows. I guess I suspected that eyesight had something to do with it. But, in my young mind, I couldn’t understand why a magnifying mirror would not solve the problem.

I’m now up to a magnifying mirror of 10X in order to see the stray hairs I need to pluck from my brows! I’ve had to throw away several magnifying mirrors because they were all suddenly too weak. Oh, for the days when I could pluck my eyebrows in a regular mirror! And I am still in the process of becoming a little old lady!

At 44, I started needing longer arms in restaurants. And it seemed like I had to concentrate to focus my eyes. Until this began happening, I don’t remember having to think about focusing. Now I can go nowhere without reading glasses. I have to use them to read any label (and most menus). I find myself looking at shampoo bottles now and wondering how in the world I EVER was able to read such fine print.

I’m also at the age where you start to actually see the lower part of your face falling. Even worse is seeing it magnified ten times! It’s a strange experience to look in the mirror, feeling like the same person you’ve always been inside, but realizing you are becoming someone quite different on the outside. (Don’t be fooled. The picture flatters me. I look quite different first thing in the morning without make up.)

I know everyone eventually experiences these things. I’ve heard many elderly people say, “I still feel like the same person.” But, like so much of life, it’s different when it happens to you.

Challenging as it may be to accept these unwanted changes, I would not trade my life at 48 for my life at 30. My forties have been the best years of all, so far. As I approach the half-century mark, I become more and more aware that every year is to be embraced and celebrated. My mother died at 49. She did not get to have a 50th birthday. Although it seemed young then, it seems younger every day.

I almost got to have a daughter when I married John. Something I was so looking forward to because I instantly loved his Brittany. He told me all about her on our first date and I remember feeling so drawn to her emotionally. But we lost her suddenly, just after our engagement. She did not get to see 20.

I will always be thankful for the closeness I had with my “almost daughter” in that very short period of time. I miss her and I miss the relationship I planned for us to have. I remember worrying that maybe I was trying to love her too much and too quickly, before she had a chance to know she could trust me. In hindsight, I’m glad I wasted no time lavishing as much love on her as I possibly could. I couldn’t have known our time was so limited.

Life is a gift. I want to laugh at the unwanted changes and be thankful I’m here to experience them. And I want to lavish love on everyone around me, as much and as often as I can. We never know when these opportunities will come to an end. We just know they someday will. The best “mistake” you can ever make is to love someone too much. I know this from experience.

There is no better time of year than Christmas, the gift of God’s love to us in sending His Son, to focus on the gifts of love and life. The best way I’ve found to say thank you to God is to love others the way He loves us.

John & Brittany (2002)


Danny Bryant said…
great post, mom.

thanks for sharing.

i love you.
brokenbindings2 said…

This made me smile because I know you and I know that your transitions have always been for the better.

Well done!