This photograph of me was taken when I was three. I am closing in on sixty now, and yet it sometimes feel like only yesterday that I was young. I look at the little girl in the picture above and I wonder what she was thinking, her eyes bright, but smile shy. What was I holding in my fingers? I wish I would have asked my mom that. My sister, two years older, was sitting next to me, sadly much closer than we are today as adults. Where did all the years go, I wonder? I think back thru the places I've lived, the schools I attended, the friends I've had, and in later years, the marriages that mark the adult chapters of my life, and it seems to have gone by so fast!
I've watched my children grow from infants into wonderful, competant, caring adults that I could't be more proud of. I wish they lived closer so that we could be together more. I've buried both my parents, and felt the sadness of having the items that surrounded us growing up being disbursed to various family members, friends, and garage sale shoppers. It is unlikely that I will ever return to visit the small town where I grew up It holds nothing to draw me back now. There is no place left to call home.
I observe the young people where I work, remembering that I was once so much like some of them. I smile in how I thought I knew it all back then and was ready to take on the world. Those illusions have long since been shattered. The older one gets, the more you realize how little in life is certain and how very little you truly know. Now I am one of the "old fogies", the grandma they come to, to share their worries and their joys. Little could they imagine what my life has been, and that I was once young too.
My children are in their thirties. I remember being that age. They were both growing up by then! It wasn't an easy time, my life hasn't been easy at any stage, but I must say it's much better now. I will readily admit that most of what has transpired along the way was due to my own choosing... poor choices, and then trying to live with them, when it times it would have been much wiser to walk away. But of course it wasn't that easy, it never is. It is only easy to see what might have been better paths when one is looking back down the road.
My early forties were good years... I felt good, and I looked good, and I had energy to spare. The kids were grown and on their own, and I had more freedom to discover who I was and what was meaningful to me. That is also when I was introduced to the Internet. How did I ever live without it?! :-)
Much like an old quilt, my body soon begain to show some wear, and bit and pieces have "gone to hell" since then. I move slower, and often with pain, have far less energy, and my short-term memory is pitiful at best. I worry about my job. I am working at the keyboard sometimes up to nine hours a day. What if my fingers don't hold up to the task? What if younger people come along who can do it faster and better? A feeling of security does not accompany age, worry does instead.
There have been several times in my life when I wasn't sure if I could find my way, and the strength to go on. But, by the Grace of God, I did... and I am so grateful! I have learned that the darkest hour is always before dawn, and perseverence is the key. I have learned so much along the way, both what to do and what not to do. I have had the opportunity to meet amazing people from all walks of life, and to experience things that most people never will. On the surface, my life might appear to have been dull and routine, in truth it has been anything but that. I am thankful for the adventure, and for the person I have become as a result of all that has transpired.
Job, as his story is told in the Bible, had more than his share of trials and tribulations. Yet at the end it goes on to say that "The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first.... And so he died, old and full of years." That's true of me also. God has blessed me richly with the wonderful husband that now shares my life. Everything has changed, and I have everything that really matters... especially love.
I am no longer young, but I am also not old yet... well, not really old anyway! :-) I will get there soon enough. In the mean time, I'm going to enjoy each day, cherish the ones I love, and take it as it comes.