Every wrinkle tells a story

I spent this morning looking real hard in the mirror. I look old. Gray hair, wrinkles, bags under my eyes, puffy places, droopy places! My jowls (as a friend calls them) are fatter and saggier. When did this happen? I guess it has been happening all my 41 years. Yes I have admitted it, I am 41.
I have decided this morning to embrace my age. Embrace my gray. Embrace all the wrinkles, sags and droops. Each one tells the story of my life. The lines around my eyes from laughing at my kids while growing up. The black circles under my eyes nights of sleepless worry while waiting on the kids to come home. The saggy puffy eyes from crying because missing my son is so unbearable at times. Even the one eye that is always puffier than the other! The gray hairs a mixture of a hard long troubled but happy life I have had. The gray streak a reminder from the day I was told my son was gone. The lines in my forehead from trying to understand why I had the life I had.
I have a friend that sells Mary Kay. She is always wanting to give me a make-over. “You will be a totally different person!” It seems every friend I have is selling this Nerium stuff. “You will look 10 years younger!” Friends that sell body wraps, eyelashes, weight loss pills and every miraculous age fighter known to man. It seems that every where I turn I can be prettier, younger, skinnier!
I am lucky to have the problem of aging. How many people are taken too soon to get to this point? My son for one. I have a friend that lost her daughter when she was 24. A time when her life should really start. Another friend who lost a son in his 40’s. I need to embrace this age and time that God has allowed me for whatever reason to see. I am lucky. I am blessed.
It seems to me we are all wasting precious years trying to be what we used to be or someone we are not. I don’t want to look like a different person. I don’t want to look 10 years younger. I want to look in the mirror and see me. All of me. Every flaw. Every line. Every age spot. Every little detail that makes me… ME. It has taken me quite a while to get the point that I am happy with myself. Happy with my age. I think happiness is the best look any women can have.
The endless lines tell the story of the journey that I have been on since birth. They are a road map that has gotten me to this day and the person I have become. I am going to embrace the gray! Embrace the wrinkles! And if I look 60 when I am only 41 then I will give God the glory for allowing me to keep on this journey of life. Because in my opinion, there couldn’t be a more gorgeous me than me.

Dear Savannah,

Dear Savannah,

I sit here on the eve of your high school graduation thinking about the past almost 18 years. There is so much I want to say but words just escape me for once. I will start at the beginning.

You were a surprise baby. I had the two boys and wanted a girl. And I got one. My baby born on 6/14 weighing 6/14. You were bright eyed and happy. I do not ever really remember you crying a lot or being a difficult baby. But when you started walking was another story. There was nothing that you did not get into. You thought that you were just as big and strong as your brothers. Every where they went, you were right behind. Spiderman and GI Joe now had Barbie as a bride. I just wish you didn’t listen to everything they told you. Remember when Luke told you to stick a Lego up your nose and me and Aunt Angel spent the night at the ER with you? Remember Aunt Angel almost knocking the doctor out because she was mean to you?

When you started school you were something else! You kept the teachers on their toes from Pre-K to 12th grade. You got in trouble in Pre-K because the kids wouldn’t do anything unless you told them to. Remember when you got in trouble for smarting off and told the principal that she shouldn’t call me because I didn’t like her? I learned real quick to watch what I say around you. Everything you set your mind to, you accomplished. You went out for cheerleading and made the team every time. Four years of color guard with the last year as captain. Even with problems reading, you made good grades. I am proud of the way you did your best in all of your school career.

You have been through so much in your 17 years and have come out smiling and always doing all you can for others. You have lost your friends, a cousin and your brother way too young. You have seen the harsh way adults can act and handle life situations without thinking of the children. You have seen the ones you love most go away and never come back. You have seen the ones you love most choose others when it was the wrong thing to do. You have seen people that should be setting an example for you do the all the wrong things in life. Through it all, your head has been up and your determination stronger. And you learned how not to be as a person. I wish I was half as strong as you on a lot of this,

I know you think that I am hard on you. That I yell way too much. That I am stricter on you than the boys. That I do not love you as much as I do the boys. Yes, I was harder on you. You are my only daughter. I am still scared to death that you will make some of the wrong choices I made. All I want in my life is for you to do better and have better than I did or have. I do not want you to have to work and get little reward. I do not want you have to go through being young, broke and a mess full of kids like me and your Dad. (It was not a bad thing, just want you to be settled and secure.) Sometimes it is hard for me to show you the love that I think you deserve. I did not grow up in the best of home situations and I forget that I have to do better with you. Sometimes, I just do not know what to do so I do things the way I learned as a child. You think I do not trust you. I do. In fact, I trust you more than anyone else on this Earth. I just want to make sure you are safe and sound. You see, I only have one daughter. I only have one “girl child”. From you I will get the grandchildren I desire. From you, I will get the Mother/Daughter trips that I could not do when you were younger. From you you, I will get to see all the dreams that never came true for me, come true for you. These almost 18 years may have seemed like I did not love you or that I was an evil old Mom but in fact, they were years of protecting you in my own way. I am sorry for any hurt or pain that I may have brought to you. My biggest regret is not being a better Mom to you than I have been.

My Dear Daughter, I am very proud of you. You have exceeded all my wishes for you to this day. You love your family with a fiery passion. Your cousins are more like your brothers and sisters. You treat your friends as family. You protect me when I am weak. You are hard-working and never ask for a handout. When something needs to be done, you jump in without being asked. Your church family thinks you are one of the best young people around. You are an amazing sister and daughter. You are a smart, loving, stubborn, beautiful, caring and wondrous fire cracker! You are my hero.

My one wish for you and your future is for you to go further than I ever did. For you to have more than I ever did. You have already done more than I ever have. You have made me prouder than I ever thought possible. I want you to graduate tomorrow and then go on with all your dreams. I want you to be the best teacher you can be. I want you to have a dream life filled with all you desire. I want you to have a huge family with all the kids you can handle. I want you to be able to take your family on vacations that we never got to go on. My goal as a parent was to do better than mine did. I want you to go on and be better than I was. I only ask that you do what makes you happy and is good for God. That you remember God first in all you do. And that you remember your old Mom and let her come around and spoil the mess out of your kids. ( and to let me name a few of them)

My Favorite Daughter, I love you more than my own life and cannot wait to see what you do in the future!

Love You Every Day,

Mum!

My newborn baby

My newborn baby

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My Graduate

My Graduate