“The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.”
Today, I am sixty-nine years old! Oh, my gosh! I'll be honest with you, it's okay with me. In fact, I have a great deal of joy and gratitude that this old girl has made it. And this weekend, beginning last night, I'm being fed like a prize pig at the county fair—every meal is covered by people who, amazingly, love me. How did that happen?
Like L'Engle said—the great thing about this life stage is that you don't lose all the others. The baby who could not breathe, the toddler saved by a nun, the kissing-crazy teenager, the young woman learning to flex her female muscles, the stressed out working mother, the broken-hearted divorcee, the dull, depressed, raging menopausal matron, the caregiver and observer of death, and the woman of unsuppressed joy at the open highway of retirement—all are here, and dear to my heart. In retrospect, I wouldn't change a thing.
In the words of Dr. Seuss: “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you'er than you!” A little voice in the back of my mind says, “And, thank God for that small favor.” Truth is, we all are “you'er than you,” and that is the great adventure of living a human lifetime. By embracing all of who we are, all the dimples and dashes, all the warts and blemishes, all the hills and valleys, all the beauty, and ugly, and soulful unknowing, we create a person who is whole and real.
And, by grace, along the way we become shared vessels—communion wine and broken bread—with other human beings, who love us in spite of ourselves. For that, I am deeply and truly grateful.
In the Spirit,