Thursday, March 12, 2009

As I Grow Old

As I grow old I want to have a face etched with the experiences of my youth, my young adult years, my middle age and the lines of aging. I want my face to reflect all the places I’ve been, all the things I’ve done, all the people I’ve known, all the smiles and tears of a lifetime.

I don’t want to plump my face with botox and erase all the evidence of living. As if I’ve lived in an eternal state of youth, not having known the joys and sorrows of adulthood and the wisdom of age.

I want my hands to reflect the diapers I’ve changed and the cookies I’ve baked and the laundry I’ve done. The hands I’ve held in love and the hands that have reached out to others.

Age is not the end of life, it is the fulfillment of life. And all the signs of aging, some of which are not pleasant, are there to remind me of the life I’ve lived, the people I’ve loved.

I want people to know that I’m 75. I don’t want them to exclaim, “How young you look!” I want them to notice the lines and express that I’m still living my life to the fullest. And I want my history reflected in my face.

Grow old with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in his hand
Who sayeth "a whole I plant,
Youth shows but half;
Trust God; see all nor be afraid."

Robert Browning


  1. Robert Browning wrote those lines (from "Rabbi Ben Ezra") when Browning was 52. What did he know about aging?

    Better this Dr. Seuss parody:

    The Cat in the Hat on Aging
    I cannot see
    I cannot pee
    I cannot chew
    I cannot screw
    Oh my god, what can I do?
    My memory shrinks
    My hearing stinks
    I look like hell
    My mood is bad - can't you tell?
    My body's drooping
    Have trouble pooping
    The Golden Years
    Have come at last.
    The Golden Years
    Can kiss my ass.

    Profanity has its use.

    From Closing In On 80 Fast - June 09