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.

Lil Sis Got Hitched! Part 1

My littlest sister, Jessi Rae, got married this past weekend. These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of her crazy wedding planning. It seemed as if everyday she was making yet another list that had the same things from the day before’s list. It almost got to where when I saw her walk in with a pen and paper, I wanted to run! But she is the baby so we made lists. And more lists, And more lists.

She wanted to do most of the wedding herself and not pay people to do things that she could do. Or things that I could do. Like baking and cooking. So the last few days before the big day, I was a candy and cookie making fool. But I was also a crying babbling fool. I just didn’t know how I was going to get through her getting married! Why did she have to be grown? Why were my kids grown? WHY WHY WHY!?

Jessi is 16 years younger than me. I know! How gross is it that my parents were still making babies when I was in high school? Anyway, that is something for my therapist to deal with. When this little baby was born, I didn’t think I could ever love anyone as much as her. Yes, I had two other sisters but this one was special. She was perfect. Being the oldest, I quickly took on the role as “other Mother” to her. Jessi was my practice baby and I loved her so much that I didn’t think I would ever want a kid of my own. in fact two years later, I was told I would never have children and it really didn’t bother me because I had her. Well, that idiot doctor was wrong because a few months later I was able to tell Jessi that Sissy had a baby in her belly.

Because Jessi was so little when Richie was born, they were more like brother and sister, Richie was her living baby doll and she adored him. When Luke came along, she had another baby doll to play with and the 3 of them were inseparable. Everywhere we went, we had Jessi right along with us.Everyone thought we had three kids. I don’t know who was more excited when we found out that the 3rd and last child was going to be a girl, Jessi or everyone else. Now she had a real live girl to put dresses on and tote around. And dress up and tote around did she do. Jessi was more like my daughter than my sister and we had her every chance we could.

These sweet little babies grew up into aggravating little turds. Aunt Jessi turned into the confidant and alibi they needed. While I am still scared to hear all the things they got into, I am grateful that they have had someone to lean on when they couldn’t with me. The sweet little kids that played in the mud grew up to be adults before I could blink.

Jessi had a baby girl and then a baby boy who are more like my grandchildren than my niece and nephew. I love all my nieces and nephews but these two are just so special to me. I literally sit and cry sometimes because I love them so much. We went through losing Richie and my heart broke for Jessi. She lost more than a nephew, she lost a brother, While I lost my first born son, my heart broke because I could not take the pain from my kids and Jessi. But through our ordeal, we had this very special man to lean on…. Kevin.

Kevin is the one that Jessi has chosen as her life mate. We always been very hard on anyone that Jessi has ever brought around and no one was ever good enough. I used to say that if a man was hand picked from heaven and sent here, I still wouldn’t like him totally. Well, I think Kevin was hand picked by Jesus and sent here. He has always been the nicest and sweetest to all of us but it wasn’t until my darkest that I really saw the heart of this man. The week after we lost Richie, I was always turning around to him being right there. At night when he would go home, I would find little notes and messages from him saying he loved us. Since the moment I lost my son, he has been there to lean on and hasn’t left yet. I knew that he had gotten close to the kids but was not aware of how close until then. He mourned as if he had been raised from the start with Richie. When he was lifting me, Jessi and the family up, he had tears of loss in his eyes.

Beyond how great he is in our times of needs, Kevin is just the most fabulous, Dad! He not only took in Lexie and loved her as his own but he is dedicated to her. Shae has not one need or want that he doesn’t fill. He steps in for Father/Daughter days with pride. He really and truly loves her without any thought to biological ties. She is his, end of story. And the way he is with Kane. From the second he knew Jessi was pregnant, he was in love with a child he never met. And now that he has met him, they are best friends. I have sat here trying to find the words to describe how amazing of a Dad he is. There are none that do it justice. He is just simply unconditionally devoted to loving that little boy.

The love story between Jessi and Kevin is like something from a romantic comedy. Me and my sisters just laugh at the two of them. One minute they can be arguing about the stupidest thing on Earth and then Jessi will look at us and say, “He is just so good looking I can’t even take it!” Or he will just look at us and say something corny like, “I love her so much I can’t imagine life without her.” We just look on bewildered and slightly jealous. They are so obsessed with each other that they had no choice but to get married and stay together forever. They have ruined each other for other people. If Jessi ever says she wants something, you can bet your last nickel that Kevin will have for her very soon. If Kevin wants something, Jessi will make sure that it is a priority. NEVER EVER LEAVE YOUR PHONE UNATTENDED AROUND THEM! If you do, there will be tons of pics where they just take one after the other of themselves. One day we all went on a family outing and Jessi had my camera to take pics. Out of almost 200 pictures, only 50 were of the trip, there rest were them cheesing it up.

I have spent so long talking about them in this I never got to the wedding! I will do that in the next one! Lil Sis got hitched and I am still a crying mess. They haveĀ  a true love stroy, an endless love for each other and a lifetime of dreams to fill.

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