Today is the last day of August and I have not posted since June--shame on me! This could indicate a great Summer in a faraway place or it could mean that the extreme Summer heat has kept me hidden inside enjoying the cool atmosphere working on other things. Sadly it has been the latter. It has given me time to contemplate and think of all the things that mean so much to me and those that irritate!
Some time ago my Dear Friend gave me a book. At the time I wasn't quite sure why, but every page brought more wisdom and memories and then I knew why. It is called, " When I am an OLD WOMAN I shall Wear Purple" edited by Sandra Haldeman Martz. She has invaded the memory banks and brought to life each contributor's stories and poems to this wonderful book. There are over180 pages of "wisdom" and sometimes the not so happy times of lives.
During this month of August I had another birthday. I am under the sign of Leo and have been told many times that it suits me. I am not sure why, but I am sure friends as well as those who are not friends could tell you why. I have never thought of age as part of me--it was a nebulous thing that belonged to someone else. My drivers License had to be renewed, but this time I could not do it on line. My age dictated that I must appear in person and bring my birth certificate. Hmmmmm suddenly I am being reminded that I am not in the bloom of youth. How tacky of them, made even worse by the fact that I could not find my elusive Birth Certificate and had to apply for a new one from the state of my birth, at the cost of 70.00 I might add. My 98 year old Mother told me to take her with me, "after all" she said " I was there and know you were Born"! The way things were going I didn't think they would believe her either.
Each time I was asked my birth date, it suddenly seemed like an "off color" word and I found myself waiting for the reaction. The first person at the bureau asked me for my marriage certificate, "why" I asked. "Because your name has changed", another hmmm was gathering in my throat ready to burst forth. "Well yes, but that was 54 years ago" . I think she noted that my tone has changed slightly and sent me on to the next window , where the Buck was passed, to a delightful young woman who had a sense of humor. This went further down the hill when we discovered we could have used my expired Passport--funny the website said no--" oh well the rules have just changed". I was considerably poorer at the end of all this but I came out still legally able to drive and had the paper to prove it. The clerk's parting shot was, "You won't have to go through this again, it is good for 8 years". Now I don't want to be negative about this, but in 8 years , yikes I don't want to contemplate that!
It was when my Darling Mr. Dude, quietly said, " honey we will both be 80 next year that I suddenly realized ,Wow have I really reached that age! You see, for me, age is just a state of mind. I am grateful that I am still able to do almost all the things I want to do. Financially that isn't always possible, but that is a state most of my contemporaries are experiencing. I have been loved by a wonderful man. I have a son who has blessed us with a wife, who is more like a daughter than a Daughter-in-law and 4 Grandchildren, we have traveled, and always had a good time together. These are the memories that we can depend on when it will no longer be possible to do these things.
It all sounds Utopian, but it has not been, there has been great illness, disappointments, loss of many friends and family, our retirement disappeared and countless other things, but through it all we knew the Lord was in control and as long as we shared the strength of that and each other, Eventually all would work out. Time is not on our side, but does that really matter?
So far I still do not have to dye my hair, but I will when the time is right, and I do not think I will be wearing Purple--I love Hot Pink ! I am going to leave you today with a Poem written by Sheila Banani which I love,
Beginnings are laquer red
fired hard in the kiln
of hot hope
Middles, copper yellow
sometimes oxidize green
with tears, but
Endings are always Indigo
before we step
on the other shore.