Tuesday, January 4, 2011

On Aging

Later this week I will be 40. I don't feel like I am about to turn 40. I keep thinking of that Frank Sinatra song, Young at Heart. Maybe the fact that I think about Sinatra tunes should tell me that I am old! I do feel young at heart in many ways. St. Therese the little flower is someone I strive to emulate in my day to day happenings. She approached life with a child-like wisdom. Life seemed more easily defined in black and white, right and wrong, when I was little. Somewhere along the way, the world tried to blur those lines. I prefer the crispness of black and white.

In other ways though, my heart feels ancient. The day Ben died, the childish notion that nothing bad can happen was shattered. Like a broken mirror, the pieces are all there, but the image it reflects is different.

Speaking of mirrors, when I see my reflection, I see the "laugh lines" and "crow's feet". I see the gray wiry hairs (why are the gray ones wavy and the dark ones straight?) beginning to make their appearance. But I think one's eyes tell the real story. You can appear old everywhere else, but the sparkle of a youthful spirit can't hide, and it shows itself through the eyes. I saw it this Christmas in my grandmother's eyes. As she sat in a chair, and I sat on the floor beside her listening to her tell a story, the twinkle in her eye erased all the wrinkles of her 99 years and the child within was before me.

My birthday wish? That there always be a sparkle in my heart.


  1. Happy birthday! I've long prayed for that sparkle to return for you.

  2. Happy birthday! I think if you are young at heart you are always young at heart. I know I don't feel 48 (yikes!). I still feel like a teenager most days and I have no idea where these grown men/children came from. ;-)

  3. I think nobody really feels old, well, maybe not until you're about 95 like my friend is. She is so cute. The other day on the phone, she told me that she slightly bumped the neighbor's car, so she decided not to drive anymore. She said: "I haven't had a car accident in 78 years!" =) Anyways, I hope you have a great birthday!

  4. Happy Birthday, Beautiful Jen. I don't even want to hear about "old", cuz you ain't there, girlfriend. Not for a long time still. :-)