I'm forty-four years, four months and 28 days old tonight and while my body feels it, my mind does not...It feels more like 20.
I remember my Nanny with such clarity that it often makes me cry, but that seems silly since she left this world March 10th, 1970...a long time ago. I wish I could have told her how much I loved her before she left, but I think she knew...For all of her faults and imperfections, she was the most wonderful grandmother a little girl could have for just six short years...And still, I remember her so clearly it brings tears to my eyes and an ache to my heart.
I remember Pa...His laughter, and then his sterness. He was a giant of a man to me, and I loved him and I feared him...Not a terrible fear, but a fear of reverence and respect. Oh, how I wish he could have stayed on this earth a little longer...like maybe the rest of my life! He had such wisdom and such Godliness that I could have really used his advisce.
Grandmother...I thank GOD that He saw fit for her to stay here through most of my young adult life! She was a treasure and she was the epitome of grace. Of course, she could get on my nerves quicker than just about anyone, but she always forgave me for my impatience...she understood that I was just a kid.
W.A.S...My first REAL love and my first REAL heartbreak. I never doubted love at first sight and suddenly in August of 1983 I experienced it first hand. He lost his life on June 22nd, 1985 (He was 21)...and I STILL miss him and think about him just about every day. On June 25th, 2007 I visited his grave...exactly 22 years after putting him in that final resting place, and later that evening it occured to me...I've loved and missed him longer than he lived...It seems like it was only yesterday when we were riding in his 4X4 busting out mud holes and jumping logs, or riding down old tram roads all night long listing to country music and drinking beer, or riding through the pastures looking at his cows, or going out partying with his friends...
I remember holding my babies for the first time...I remember singing silly songs to them, holding them when they cried, crying for them when they were sick or hurt...I remember the excitement on their faces come Christmas morning and sadly, I remember the disappointment, the hurt and the lonliness they felt when life wasn't so good.
I remember the first time I saw my husband...I didn't know who he was at the time, but I thought he was the ugliest man I'd ever seen with his beer belly hanging over his cut off shorts, his beard all scraggly and mishapened, with scrawney legs and flip flops on his feet. I remember the second time I saw him, (Though I thought it was the first) and how I fell in love with those gorgeous bably blue eyes, that clean shaven face and that wonderful nose. I also remember 6 months later seeing him walking through the house with cut offs and a beard, and how I realized in horror that he WAS the ugly man and I was now married to him!!! But, I was glad...Through all of the bad times, there have been some wonderful times, too. I remember how gentle and loving he was to our baby and how he has always been such a good provider. He adores me, though I don't know why...And after 20 years together I fear the day we should part 'cause I just don't know how we could make it without the other.
And yet, I don't feel old enough to have lived this many years and be standing on the threshold of middle age. I don't feel old enough to have grown children and grandchildren, nor do I feel old enough to be worried about losing my parents, or having arthritis in my spine or being told I need to have yearly mammograms! I don't feel old enough to have this much white hair, or this big of a belly or this wide of a behind. I don't feel old enough to be 44 years old!
In August of 2007 my cousin Karen who was 30ish years old died suddenly and the cornoner ruled her death as a suicide. She had no children and was divorced. She left behind a Blog with pictures of her artwork and a few posts from over a year ago. I remember babysitting Karen when she was just a toddler and she was just as beautiful a woman as she was a little girl...And my heart aches for the loss of such a beautiful, talented and successful young woman...
What will I leave behind once I do leave this earth? Memories, words written down for others to read, a few pictures I've taken or drawn, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren? Will I leave a mark???
I certainly hope so and I hope and pray that I have many more years to "write on the walls" of this life and on the hearts of those who know and love me...I hope I leave good memories that will last a lifetime.
I hope my smile and my laughter will be remembered, too.