A few months ago, I was with my mom. She is 81 years old. In 2011, in April, she lost her mother who was 100 years old and two months later, in June, she lost her husband of 60 years, my father. It was a year of loss for her and for us. The most difficult thing about my father's death was knowing how much my mom would miss him. She does.
We were looking at old videos a few months ago (after his death) of Mom and Dad on their travels during their 50's and 60's. They had an RV and LOVED to "camp" with it. They tended to go either north or laterally across the country. This is, of course, a puzzle to me. Why you go north when you live in Minnesota, I do not understand. But they did and they cherished their time on the road. They went to Alaska, to New Bruswick, to DC, to Boston, to the North Shore and Ely. They went to nearby little parks and the Mississippi River to watch the eagles. They LOVED their RV camping.
Seeing Mom and Dad in Maine on the ocean, emotionally overcome by the strength of the waves, I was silent in the their experience. I have lived on the ocean. I love the ocean. I never, ever knew my parents to go to the edge of the earth and play in waves and welcome the tides. But I saw it on the DVD. They were in their mid-60's - just retired. It made me weep to see them so happy and carefree - like children, really.
Later, Mom and I were talking about our life (mine and Lee's) and, really, how good it is, how full of adventure. Yet, not without its own challenges.
Mom said, "Yes, you are so lucky - in the prime of life."
I have not forgotten it. We tend, as we age, to long for the past. To wish for the body and face we had when we were 25, the mental agility we had at 30, the confidence at 40. Later, we wish we had the body and face we had at 40.
I once heard Oprah say something like this, "When you look in the mirror, love yourself. In 20 years, you will wish you looked just like this again!"
Lee and I are in the prime of life. And, when I am 80, I will remember what 58 felt and looked like and wish I felt and looked like that. So, why not now? Why not just WISH, EMBRACE, LOVE that I am 58 and love how I feel and look? And for all my dear friends who are hovering at 40, considering botox, wishing for the body they had at 25, trust me! You can't imagine how great you look, how smart you are at this age. Love yourself.
Sometimes, I can do this. But, not always. I'm workin' on it.