I’ve been old twice. The first time was when my second marriage was failing and I couldn’t stem its inevitable demise. I was ancient at 46. The second time was when I suddenly became a widow at 59. I was too old to be single and too young to be old.
I sank into grief. I wandered down the dark hallways of my mind wondering if I’d ever find myself again. Would I ever feel joy? Would I ever laugh? Would I ever feel like…me? Eventually, little by little, the fog lifted and I caught glimpses of her, that carefree girl who threw her head back and laughed large. That wonderful, wacky woman who saw the fun in everything. She was in there. I just had to coax her out like a stray cat who has gone too many years without the kind touch of humanity.
I joined a band of women. A Sisterhood. A group of fellow travelers on the same journey as myself. We encourage each other. We love each other. We honor the strength we see in each other. We teach each other how to fly. And we laugh and laugh and laugh. And something miraculous is happening…I am becoming that girl that I longed for once again. I am coming full circle.
The other morning, I was lying in bed and I raised my arms up to look at them. Imagine my surprise when I saw my mother’s arms instead of mine! How did that happen? Where did these wrinkles come from? Am I old? I took a careful inventory and discovered, indeed…I am not. I am experienced. I am worldly. I am wise. I am broken in, not broken down. Like a great pair of cowboy boots, my skin has stretched to cover the fullness of my being. I have lived…I have loved…I have lost…I have learned. And until I leave…I’m just going to love every little square inch of my beautiful, bodacious, badass self…wrinkles and all!
I’ve found the Fountain of Youth. It’s right between my ears.
Ginny McKinney, Sister #3537
Ginny McKinney is a blogger, adventurer, and active member of Sisters on the Fly. Visit her on her blog, Marshmallow Ranch, and learn how she is sweeping the cobwebs from life and creating new space where ideas can breathe and grow.