Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What Do They See When They Look At Me?

This is the face by which I will be remembered.

This is not the face I see when I think of myself.  That face is younger, smoother, tauter, darker and so much less grey.

That's the ME which created the SHE who they see.

FlapJilly will never know the scurrying, go-on-forever, sure-I-can-do-that-with-you woman who was lost in 2011.  She'll have lots of fun with the wait-for-Gramma woman who will take her to the park and throw rocks into the river and push her on the swings; of that I am certain.  But I wish she could have hung out with me before bullets took my flexibility and my stamina.

TBG mourns the fact that I never really knew his mother.  Nannie had her first cancer surgery while her son and I were on our first date.  I met her when she was old; the cancer diagnosis changed her, he says.  I knew her when she was in her recliner in the tv room.  He remembers her pitching fastballs and swimming and whistling for him to come home with a blast heard 'round the neighborhood.  That's the mom he remembers, the woman whose personality was unaltered but whose physical appearance said tired, worn-out.

I'm not afraid of aging; surviving perforation did that for me.  My wrinkles and grey hairs are honestly earned.  I'm proud of each and every one of them.  But they are not what I see when I think of myself.  I'm amorphous in my own mind, the reality bumping up against the pictures I conjure.  I'm not surprised by the image in the mirror, but I do give myself a faux-face-lift sometimes, pulling my skin tight and seeing, for a moment, who I think I am.

Weird.  Very weird.

Not, perhaps, as weird as how I am sure my parents always saw me:

8 comments:

  1. Even without a disastrous event like cancer or an act of violence, you still would not be what you were. I haven't had those experiences but I see huge differences in my energy level and looks as I get well into my 70s. It's rather interesting how we stay much the same for decades but then it all escalates. Some kid themselves with saying they feel young but mostly that's not how they are seen by someone else. I think it's part of a life cycle. Yours got put on high speed but you'd have gotten there down the line anyway. It's one of the things I see we have to accept with aging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I accept it. I acknowledge it. I am still surprised by it!
      a/b

      Delete
  2. I love this pix of you. It's beautiful. And even though we became friends after 2011, I think you are amazing. With how amazing you are, I cannot even imagine you before. I do know how you feel. At times, I cannot even believe I'm a mother of three. And sometimes I just don't want to be an adult.

    All I can say is just keep being you.

    Sending hugs.


    Megan xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I was 25 I filled out a job application and put my age as 18. The interviewer caught it (did the math and there weren't enough years for all my education by 18!) and we had a good laugh. I got the job, too!
      a/b

      Delete
  3. That is a great photo of you. You look happy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You're still YOU...all the wiser, now & cooler than ever before.

    ReplyDelete

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