I Don’t Want to Grow Old and Die
How did I get here? I never imagined knocking on the door of 50, but here we are. I’m standing at the precipice of advanced age and feeling really scared. Is it weird that I’m slightly depressed at the thought of sagging bits and bobbles? I see those persistent lines creeping across my forehead, setting up barricades around my mouth. Don’t get me started on the loosening neck skin. Where the heck did my snap back go? I don’t want to be known as that girl with the turkey neck!!!!
I have no idea how all of you feel about aging, but I’m terrified. What if no one ever calls me beautiful again? I’m no raging beauty but I kinda like my face where it currently sits. I’m also scared to lose my strength and mobility. Most of all I’m fearful of not being able to take care of myself. Memory loss, osteoporosis, and arthritis are possibilities lurking in the dark. I really resent the dark right now.
How do you live fully in the moment when each moment is bringing you closer to the unknown?
This question rolls over and over in my mind. No one has all the answers. Heck I’m learning on the fly like many of you. I didn’t realize how much my mother was teaching me about aging with grace until recently. I’ve always seen her as a mentor but lately she has become my source of bread crumbs. Those bits of wisdom that lead you home. I watch her with a new-found intensity and I’ve gleaned a thing or two in the process.
The first thing I noticed was how she changed her diet. She is eating less processed foods and more leafy greens and vegetables daily- without fail. She muttered something about keeping inflammation at bay.
I am listening.
While Facetiming the other day, Mom was getting ready to go to the grocery store. I watched how she applied her perfect shade of deep red lipstick and dressed in her mid-calf length gown. She adorned her neck with an Italian silk printed scarf and looked stunning. When I asked her why put in all the effort, she said, “I want to feel beautiful for me.”
I am watching.
In the quiet, early hours of each day, she pulls out her bible to pray. She prays for her children and grandkids calling each one by name. She prays for health and safety and God’s provision for her daily life. She prays to the one who created her and the one who will receive her again. She lives each day by faith.
I am praying.
She doesn’t seem to have all the answers either. She just keeps living, laughing and enjoying her life. Her contentment seems to be grounded in a faith that extends beyond this broken world.
Is that the secret? Living and believing in a God greater than this life? Maybe it’s time to stop fixating on having all the answers and just enjoy each day in the skin I’m in. If she can take each day as it comes and still get up to thank God, then maybe, just maybe we can too.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
More by Kim Jagwe…
Growing Up In The Projects Shaped My Writing
What Caused My Mother, My Mentor To Cry Bitterly Into Her Notebook?