I saw a picture on Facebook today that stopped me short. It was a picture of two boys with whom I grew up. Only they aren’t boys anymore. They’re well and fully grown. They are a year or so older than me, so let’s say they’re middle aged.
The reason the picture shocked me is that in my mind those two should still look like they did as teens, while in reality they look my age. I get images of people stuck in my head, and those images never age. Just like my nephew, who is a young man turning twenty soon, is still toddler in my mind. My mom will be forever forty in the way I think of her, though I left forty in the rear-view mirror several years ago myself.
I don’t fear getting older. It beats the alternative. I’m just amazed at how fast it’s happening. Grandma P. once told me that the older I get, the faster time will pass. I didn’t believe her when I was little, but I see now that she spoke the solid truth.
One day, when I was in my twenties, my aunt took me to visit Grandma W. and her mom, my great-grandma. We sipped iced-tea as we discussed various family members; who my great-grandma thought was right with the Lord and who wasn’t, and how people my age wore too much makeup. Then she said something that upset at the time, but I’ve since come to understand it.
“Look at us, girl,” she said to me. “Right here in this room is four generations of our family. Take a good look. We are your future. We are what you’ll become.”
Time doesn’t wait for anyone, so I endeavor to live in the moment. Taking time to enjoy the fragrance of lilacs, the sweetness of birdsong, and the flavor of ripe tomatoes are things make a point to do. I relish all the hugs I can get from my grandchildren and savor their laughter floating through the air.
Just because I have more silver hair than black strands and wrinkles around my tired eyes doesn’t mean I’ve lost my spunk. I still feel like that twenty-something young woman who took a good look at those who came before me and realized youth is fleeting.
These are crazy times, but we should still live our lives as fully as possible and find our joy where we may.
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