>Another Day Older

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Today is my birthday. I am 46.
I had always naively entertained the idea that I would age “gracefully”….
Whatever that meant…

HA!

Now of course, I have come to realize the truth: I have never done anything gracefully and won’t be able to do this so either.
Rather, I will do it like I do most things: clumsily, boring all around me with my vanity and driven controlling ways and opinions and ideas. And at the same time I will go kicking and griping over the cliffs of the inevitable decline and collapse of my body.

I will never be elegant and chic.

I will have very gray hair turning all too quickly to white.
I will have a thickening body being remapped with wrinkles and sags.
I will have spots from too many days in the sun.
I have my mother’s hands.

Middle age is no picnic.

Yet, despite my clumsy ways and self, I have a richly woven tapestry of a life – surrounded by so many that I love so dearly. I have the strength in my arms to hold seven children. I have the arms to hug so many others for missing moms and try to let them know that a mom loves them and it feels like this. I have been able to find niches in my heart for many here and others I have even recently met in Africa, ones I won’t see again but who will stay with me.
All that is worth every gray hair, every wrinkle, sag, and spot.

I used to be bothered by looking at my hands and seeing my mother’s. It was, somehow, shocking. But oddly enough, not anymore. They are mine. They are hers.
They’ll do.

I never used to tell folks when it was my birthday, although I’ve always told my age. Somehow it didn’t seem like I should mention it. But, then, I decided that sets a bad example for my kids. As I tell my children, birthdays are for celebrating! And so not to be a hypocrite (at least this time)….I’ve said it. And tonight I will have a piece of cake or frozen yogurt (hint hint) and kiss all my children and husband. And while the kid’s bdays and my husband’s are ever so much more fun….I am very grateful for mine.

7 thoughts on “>Another Day Older

  1. >Actually, I think you have hit upon how to age gracefully. Embrace and enjoy. I look at you (you are only a few steps ahead of me-6 to be exact) and think I want to be like that. Thank youJenj.jennifermorgan@comcast.netPS We are starting on the adoption journey with Gladney and I have loved your blog. We have three bio kids-16(at a jesuit high school), 13, and 9, and can not wait to add another sweet child.

  2. >Michele, Happy Birthday! I love your post but I think you are wrong – from the photographs I’ve seen of you, and our correspondence, I would absolutely describe you as elegant and chic. As far as having your mother’s hands, I have my mother’s hands too. She has been gone for four years now and sometimes I’ll look at my hands and it just takes my breath away, how much they are hers.Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful birthday! -Shasta

  3. >Happy Birthday Michele!! We are only 4 days apart.. I turn 46 on Tuesday. Thank you for hugging my kids… can’t wait to return the favor for another family!BTW – you ARE aging gracefully!

  4. >Becca, I would’ve guessed you’re too young to know about hot flashes, which is the only way I am hot! But hey, I’ve heard the 40’s are the new 30’s…but if you say 20’s…wahoo!

  5. >Oh happy day. I hope it was wonderful. I love this post. The subject of aging has come up lately with several friends, and your perspective is a good one. I think it’s easier to accept our aging when we live with few (or no) regrets. You seem to have lived your life *well*, something I strive to do–to live unselfishly and know that what matters in each day of my life is how I gave to others. You are a bright example of this to me, which is why I hope you never, ever stop posting to this blog.

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