Next year, God willing, I will reach 70 years of age. OMG, when did that happen? My body has blessed me with very few aches or pains, creaks or groans, although I fully expect that they will ultimately make their uncomfortable presence known. I just don't know when to expect them. My Mother never told me!
My Mother never told me not to attempt to act younger than my actual age. Really, Mom, I could have used that advice when, in my sixties and new to yoga class, I attempted a backward bow.
Heck! Thirty-five year old classmates were doing it. Why not me? Two torn menisci in my right leg and an arthroscopic surgery later proved why not me? Come to think of it, although she was fit and active, I never noticed Mom try to act anything but her age. Confident in her skin, she felt no need to prove anything to anyone.
My Mother never told me that one day I would look in the mirror and nostalgically wonder when the face of that young child, young teen, young woman had morphed into a face of wrinkles as deep as Swiss Alp crevices.
Mom had plenty of wrinkles on her beautiful face. Did she fret? Did she consider a face lift? Never! No, she wore her wrinkles as badges of a life well lived. Wisdom lines, I remember her calling them.
My Mother never told me that I may tire more easily as I grew older. Moaning and groaning, hands massaging my tired back, I grouse about too much gardening, too much house cleaning, too much time prepping a meal, too much....oh, you get the picture. Thinking back, I cannot recall my Mom complaining about fatigue. Even in her eighties, on her feet and in the kitchen for days on end, baking Christmas cookies for family, Mom never complained. Of course her feet must have throbbed and her back must have ached, but a negative peep never escaped those determined lips.
My Mother never told me that in damp, cold weather, my knees, my legs, and my hips may stiffly ache. Man, these knees of mine are more reliable than any accuweather forecast. Hey, Mom, a warning would have been nice. I might have moved to Ariziona. But then Mom rarely complained about aching joints. In her eighties she did announce that she was having both knees replaced. Both? You see my knees have been a bit sore, dear. Bone on bone in both knees is a bit sore?
My Mother never told me. Why? I believe that to Mom seeing her wrinkles in a mirror, feeling fatique or experiencing joint pain meant that she was still alive. The inconveniences of aging were to her better than the alternative. Life, no matter how uncomfortable, was to be celebrated. I have much to learn from my Mother.