Like my parents, I’ve always had a somewhat ageless appearance.
For years Dad’s babyface and Mom’s petite figure have kept everyone guessing. And for some reason, people tend to think I’m younger than I am. Often, when my little sister and I go out together, others suppose she is the eldest even though we are eleven years apart! But not anymore.
I guess this disorder–whatever it is–is finally starting to age me.
Don’t believe me?
The proof is in the pudding, my dears. Take this scenario:
I was at the church for the Pinewood Derby tonight. (P.S. Isn’t my kiddo hilarious? Such a ham. He won “best paint job.”) Afterward I was hobbling along the hallway while several kids zoomed by. My little man, however, slowed down to walk with me. I love him.
C: “Hi, Mom.”
C’s friend: (sidles up) “Is that your grandma?”
C’s friend: (points at ME!) “Is that your grandma or your aunt or something?”
Me: *BURSTS out laughing!* Hahahahahaha!
C: “Dude, that’s my MOM!”
Me: (still laughing) “All my hair fell out! Does my new hairdo make me look older?”
Okay, so maybe it’s not just the hair. Maybe it’s the cane and the limp and the glasses too. (I don’t know why, but it’s harder for me to wear contacts now.) But I can’t say I’m that shocked. After all, I have been teasing my hubby that now I really AM his “old lady.”
And it makes me laugh. I’d rather laugh than cry.
Last week, my physical therapist put me in a back brace and a walker. There are even tennis balls on the legs! Of course my boys had to pull them off and explore. My 6-year-old was fascinated to discover that tennis balls are hollow.
Sometimes when I use the walker I feel silly. But I’m learning to let the silliness flow through me, rather than being paralyzed by it. When people ask why I have a walker or a cane, I wink and tell them “It’s because I want to look cool.”
I’ve heard stories about people with cancer and disabilities and chronic diseases who cope with a positive attitude. They do hard things with smiles on their faces. I’ve seen their examples and thought, I want to be one of those people.
I’m not saying I don’t cry.
Today at the school, I was limping to my car in the rain and my umbrella broke in the wind. It was a long … soggy … chilly … walk. And I admit, I leaned on my grandfather’s hand-me-down cane and I wept. I prayed that I would be able to make it to my parking spot.
Then an angel came. My son’s teacher from three years ago saw me through the window and ran out into the downpour to help. She held up my broken umbrella, offered her elbow, and told me “you’re not alone.”
There is always light. We just have to find it.