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Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Age of the Heart

I spent quite a bit of time at my grandmother’s house when I was young. When we were together we were inseparable and there are moments when I ache to hear her voice. She was one of my favorite people in the world. Even though she is gone now I can still hear her voice in my head; reminding me to mind my manners, whispering to me words of love and strength, and her gems of wisdom sometimes surface in my thoughts for some silly random reason. Today I woke up and shuffled half awake to the bathroom. I was brushing my teeth, standing in front of the mirror and I got a momentary jolt of surprise as I sometimes do because the woman in the mirror does not match the person I see myself as in my mind.

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MY GRANDMOTHER AND I WHEN I WAS ABOUT 3

My grandmother once told me that everyone had an age inside of them. Some of us are born with little old men inside of us, some of us are born as gawky teens. That age inside of us she said is the age that we always feel inside. She always said to me that she was 23. That was before she had children, before she got married, before she settled down. She said that was the perfect age because she was just independent enough to be an adult, just innocent enough to feel like a child, and just free enough to soar. There were times she said when she looked in the mirror and was surprised at the wrinkles and lines on her face, because in her heart she always felt 23.

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NO MATTER HOW MANY CANDLES THERE WERE ON THE CAKE SHE WAS ALWAYS 23

I asked my mother recently and she said that the age inside her is 25. Since the age of 12 she has felt 25. And now even though she has grey hair and wrinkles, even though she has grown children older than 25 and even though she has a grandchild; she still feels 25.

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MOM AT 25

I always felt like I was born with a little old woman inside of me, a woman about 84 years old perhaps, someone ancient, wrinkled, comfortable in her skin and carefree in whom she is. When I looked in the mirror this morning I get a momentary jolt of surprise by how young a look; I have always felt older than I actually am. That may seem weird, of course I am not 84 I am only 33, however my grandmother was surely not 23 when she looked in the mirror either.

From the time I could walk I was making ‘friends’ with older people. I just seem to get them... and they just seem to get me. My newest friend just turned 70, yesterday we talked on the phone for two hours and I simply adore her. She just gets me and I appreciate her in so many ways. Maybe inner ages are like gigantic magnets trying to press closer together. Those of us who have similar ages living inside us gravitate together pulled not by the age in the mirror but by the age in our hearts.

2 comments:

lilmansworld said...

Everything is lovely about this! I too have thought that I don't' feel like an adult regardless of my age and what I've accomplished in my lifetime. I wish I could have known your Grandmother because I know my hubby looked up to her so much :) I love both my grand-families but for whatever reason, I identify with my Dad's Mom more and I heart it so much!

paul peggy zeus said...

I too love this post. I'm so glad you had your special relationship with your grandmother. It's just one more whole in my life that I never got to know ANY of my grandparents, or my father. My mom was always so busy with six kids and a full time job, I never felt like I had parents either. It always made me sad when my friends had such wonderful parents and grandparents to take care of them, and even spoil them a bit. I guess we can't all have everything.

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