Thursday, July 19, 2007

Aging . . . Just Like Mom

Visible signs of aging – oh, the enemy, for sure. For years my goal was simply not to let it get me the way it had gotten Mom. Her fair skin was deeply lined while she was still in her forties. She developed a turkey-wattle chin. When an angry colleague told her she “looked about 95 years old,” she shrugged it off. “I work rings around the woman, and she’s just jealous” – but I knew the insult had hurt. Lesson learned. Nobody was ever going to have the chance to say such things to ME.

As I entered my middle years, Botox became a trusted friend. When my sagging face began to look . . . well, saggy . . . and my double chin grew floppier by the day, I steeled myself for a facelift. It got rid of the jowls and wattle but not the wrinkles. Time had its own plan for etching itself on my skin.

Then my 57-year-old husband, the handsome, fit-looking man I’d lived with for more than 30 years, died of a massive heart attack while hiking in the mountains with his brother. That was six years ago. I haven’t worried about my wrinkles since.

What concerns me now is spending time with people I love, while I still can. Working as much as I can, while I still can. I’ve even had the chance to write a few books about aging women, plastic surgery and all. Time and age, those old adversaries, have turned out to be gifts.

In the mirror these days, I see an aging woman with a pale, lined face, who looks a lot like Mom once did. I wonder now why I ever wanted to eradicate her from my reflection – why any of us do. Except for the wealth of warm memories, it’s all of her that I have left.
Ellyn Bache
http://www.ellynbache.com/

12 comments:

aromagik said...

Now THAT is a happy ending.

~Lindy

Susan said...

I think we all should embrace our wrinkles, lines and sags. After all they just a part small part of who we are!

CrystalG said...

Wonderful post.

anne said...

I thought that this post was wonderful and I enjoyed it tremendously. Thanks so much.

ruth said...

Ellen,
I have never read such a honest, senstively written and more well written post about aging, especially women of our age. I am not youthful anymore but am in great health, have energy and work hard. This is a tough time for me since my husband of 27 years, only 56 years old, died suddenly in front of my face 3 weeks ago. I will continue on with my future and hope that there is more to learn and discover.

principessa said...

Impressive post which resounds with me. The importance of your priorities is a joy to read. I appreciated every single word.

sharon said...

Thank you for this uplifting and inspiring post. The topic is one close to my heart and I believe in every single thought that you have written. Being older now and not looking several years younger as I did all my life since I am small, things have caught up with me. I am just thankful for my good health and my supportive family.

ellie said...

Where I live I am friends with women who are mostly older than I am. They are vital, active, and interesting women whose lives did not stop because they were either divorced or widowed. Your message today did my heart good.

bettye griffin said...

I can't say I have wrinkles (black people are more inclined to get deeper creases than wrinkles), but I can say this: I've earned every gray hair on my head! And it's okay with me that my laugh lines are a little deeper these days.

A beautifully written post that makes me appreciate both my husband and my mother, both of whom are still with me.

Bettye Griffin
www.bettyegriffin.com
Read my blog: www.chew-the-fat-with-Bettye.blogspot.com

pearl said...

Excellent blog which had me totally captivated. Now that I have reached that stage I can understand and relate to my late mother's concern, but she was a remarkable woman who had limitless energy and a positive outlook.

Stevi Mittman said...

Oh Ellyn--
You've given me a whole new perspective...I hope it's okay if I keep using moisturizer, though!
Love,
Stevi

Ellyn Bache said...

Thanks to everyone for the encouraging comments. They came just after a local doctor told me I ought to eat some kind of mushroom - Kuchoka? - to get rid of my wrinkles. Oh, well . . .
Ellyn