life wisdom from the hand of my beautiful mother

I’ve mentioned this before, but my mom is not only the woman who brought my screaming, crying, squirming life into this world, she is also my best friend. She composed the following email today, thus announcing one of the most significant changes in her life since my birth…yeah, I consider myself special. It is her wisdom that seeps from these words and makes me want to emulate her all the more. I will keep this in my proverbial hope chest ’till kingdom come.

Please read and furthermore be inspired:

The other day I was thinking about how I felt about being old.

I don’t think of myself as old. Old Age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don’t agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I’ve aged, I’ve become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend. I don’t chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn’t need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.


I have seen too dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70’s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep…I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.


I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)

So – with that said – I will be entering the next phase of my life on July 1, 2008 – – – my first day of retirement!

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13 thoughts on “life wisdom from the hand of my beautiful mother

  1. @brian: seriously, there is so much for me to learn from her…this letter is a mere reflection of the wisdom that pours from her soul. I am certainly thankful…yet it makes me regret the years I thought she knew nothing at all…I could have learned so much more had I listened back then.

  2. cathi, it’s nate from ifiweredebtfree.com
    thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
    just stopping by to check out your blog.
    and you’re right, insanity is subjective-that’s why i won’t get officially diagnosed. if we were to try to fix our insanity, we would probably go insane.

  3. This is beautiful. It made me want to cry, in an appreciative way. WOW. WOW.

    I think I will come back to this page at some point in time. All very good things to remember. WOW. 😉

  4. OH Brandy, I know! Doesn’t it just make you want to write down each piece as a separate quote to place as bumper stickers on everyone else’s car…that way you can see it every day?!?!? Well, maybe that’s just me, but yeah, I cried when I read this.

  5. is it a surprise, then, to say that she’s my best friend?
    I heart her so incredibly much. She was a significant part of my salvation story, my marriage story and her generosity and gracious spirit has kept me from living in a cardboard box on the side of I-77!

    Thanks for the encouragement, Brandy! I like it when others see what I see! 🙂

  6. Pingback: ERGO 1| A tribute to momma joj « a life of perpetual transition

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  9. Pingback: wisdom from the webernet via my joj {patience et. al} « cathi c stegall

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