Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Old hands, young eyes

Ihad a little itch on the back of my hand today. When I scratched it, it started bleeding and just wouldn't stop in one tiny little spot. Grabbing the tissues from the perpetually stocked Mom-purse, I stuffed a few under my cuff to keep my shirt from being stained until this dot too small for a band-aid would dry up. The womanchild looked at me and said, "You're Sean's mom now. (referring to the best and funniest zombie movie ever, Sean of the Dead.)

She was right. It was such a mom thing to do, such a middle aged thing. It reminded me so of my own mother whose skin became as delicate in her later years as mine seems to be now. A tiny bump would result in a huge bruise. The simplest scratch meant bleeding like I did today. Despite my petite, olive complected, dark eyed mother's insistence that I , her fair-skinned, blue eyed, taller and larger than anyone in the family daughter, resembled her, this was the first time I saw it. My skin did indeed look just like hers in texture, and the aging pattern on my hands was hers as well. I'm hoping that this adjustment in my skin is just a transitional result of the weight loss, but if it's not, I'll remember how beautiful my mother was her entire life, and the soft, ethereal delicacy of her skin was part of her beauty.

The whole day has held good, funny and wistful reminders that I'm aging. The womanchild had a doctor's appointment for cyclical issues, and together, our lovely doctor, the daughter and I were discussing adult things, woman things. I was the oldest in the room, and my experiences as a woman and my mother knowledge were a complement to the professional expertise. This was the passing on of female wisdom, and I could see this same thing played out in many generations in my mind. I was grateful for the respect for women's health issues in this age. I couldn't help thinking of when a doctor who had to be male couldn't examine a female patient's body because of the immorality of her nudity. I may appreciate the past, but I'm very grateful that I don't live in it. In another era, I would have been ancient at my age of 46, and though I may feel that way sometimes, I know that is just the voice of a bad day.

I know this is a threshold time, feeling the clock of my fertility tremble as it hesitates every now and then, seeing the mementos of the years on my neck, that one troublesome and instantly plucked hair on my chin, the traces of worrisome nights that won't fade from beneath my eyes with just a dab of makeup. I also see an increasingly comely authority in my presence and feel a spiritual musculature that only develops with experience. It's not the resiliency of youth. There's less need to bounce back from the blows that life delivers to everyone. It takes more to knock me down.

Best of all, there's a twinkle in my eyes that speaks of the best part of youth, the openness and expectation of good things to come. When I was younger, my eyes held a sadness that both drew and scared people. Now, despite cataracts and bi-focals, my eyes are young, and only age could give me that visual giggle. Life is one of those jokes where you just had to be there before you can laugh.

aging

6 Comments:

Anonymous Templar said...

Even though the body may age I will gladly accept those providing my mind stays young...nicely written...thank you.

November 28, 2006 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! You are just a baby, Baby. I can feel the vitality in the words.

November 28, 2006 8:48 PM  
Blogger Wenda said...

I'm with Paul ... and I love your
aging reflection.

November 28, 2006 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cynthia, there are times when your writing is so perfect and so beautiful that my eyes fill with tears, those good human tears. This is one of those times. Woman, you can write.

November 28, 2006 11:23 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

You only have one hair on your chin? It will soon have friends, I promise... :D

Don't you hate it when you develop these great essays about growing older, and someone has to come along and say, "Oh...ye're just a pup!" Raspberries to 'em.

November 29, 2006 1:03 AM  
Blogger Cynnie said...

Oh..i had a complete hysterectomy at 40..
So i consider myself menopausal, baby!
and it SUCKS!!

The drs have me on the lowest hormones you can get..but the hot flashes and stray hairs..and moodiness..

Christ..

But you know ..I really like being almost 47..
I like me a lot better,
I AM wiser..

I watched some young men looking at me and daughter as we were walking by once..
they looked out the corners of their eyes at daughter..
I thought " it's her day in the sun "
I'm not the young hot chick anymore..
And it's okay

November 29, 2006 12:04 PM  

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